Chinese yogurt tends to be thin, and almost all contain sugar. Eventually I decided to make my own, so I bought a Little Bear brand yogurt machine. My first machine was too hot, and I failed in my yogurt-making attempts twice, so I exchanged it. To my relief, I was successful with the second one. ^_^ My yogurt turned out to be good, as thick as the one in my German recipe book, and I can add whatever ingredients I want.
Yields 1000 mL
1000mL fresh milk
1 bag of live cultures
1. Boil the yogurt container for 1 minute or wash it carefully with boiling water for 1 minute. It should be very clean, free of all germs, bacteria, and oil. You might as well boil the spoon you will use to mix the milk and culture as well.
2. Buy fresh milk that's stored in the fridge, not the UHT ones from the shelf. The milk should not contain any additives, including sugar, preserves, or other ingredients.
3. Pour a little milk in the container, and add the cultures (1 small bag per liter of milk ), mix well, add the rest of the milk, put on the lid and put it carefully into the yogurt machine. Plug in for 8 to 10 hours, NEVER exceeding 14 hours. Go to sleep or work or whatever and then your yogurt is ready.
4. The yogurt can be eaten when it's done, still lukewarm, but the best taste comes after you leave it in the fridge to set for another few hours or overnight. So be patient.
If your yogurt doesn't turn out, right check the following:
1. Temperature. It should be 42 or 43 C
2. Whether everything is thoroughly cleaned
3. Whether your milk is fresh and additive-free
4. Whether your cultures are stored properly so they are still active (they should be stored in the freezer)
Note: Yogurt machines and cultures can be purchased through Taobao.
Sichuanese native and Chengdu resident Annie blogs about her adventures in cooking vegetarian meals, adapting recipes from around the world. Recently she has translated some of her favorite posts into English for GoChengdoo readers to enjoy. The original, Chinese-language version of this post can be viewed here. Photo by Annie Chen.