• 3/4 cup (141 grams) red lentils
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (355 mL) boiling water
  • 2 cups (473 mL) room temperature water (or much less for FIRM for EXTRA FIRM; see notes below)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the lentils in a colander or mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. This removes any dust or debris from the dried lentils.
  2. Combine the lentils and 1 and 1/2 cups boiling water in the container of blender (regular or high-speed). Let stand for 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are plump and the water has cooled (do not drain).
  3. Blend the lentil-water mixture on high speed until completely smooth, stopping several times to scrape down the sides of the blender container.
  4. Pour the lentil mixture into a medium-size, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups water (or 1.5 cups water for extra-firm texture) and optional salt until blended.
  5. Whisk over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes until the mixture is VERY THICK glossy and coats the bottom of the pan (turn heat down to medium, as needed).
  6. Scrape the batter into an 8-inch (20 cm) square glass or ceramic baking dish, smoothing the top (the dish does not need to be oiled).
  7. Refrigerate the tofu, uncovered, for at least 60 minutes until firm. For firmer tofu, refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight (Alternatively, leave the tofu in the refrigerator for up to 5 days until ready to use.)
  8. Run a dull knife around the edge of the dish; invert the tofu onto a cutting board. Cut the tofu into the desired shapes and sizes you prefer for recipes and/or storing in the refrigerator