Soy

Why You Should Be Treating Your Tofu Like a Bouquet of Flowers

April 20, 2016

Here's what I do when I buy tofu at the grocery store: I put it in the back of my fridge and forget it for at least three days.

Then, when I'm remember that it's there, I make a slit in the corner and press all of the liquid out in a very satisfying release of pressure. I cook what I want, then put the rest in a glass container. Back into my fridge it goes!

Does hearing that make you want to give me a scolding? Because I deserve one.

I learned from Minh Tsai of Hodo Soy that tofu should be treated like fresh flowers. Rinse the tofu and then—here's where the flower analogy comes in—replace the liquid with fresh water, daily. Clearer liquid means fresher tofu. (According to Minh, that's why grocery store tofu is packaged in opaque, rather than translucent, containers—otherwise, shoppers would notice the cloudiness of the liquid.)

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Winter: U-DOFU (Tofu in bath); cubed tofu with some green vegetables, shiitake mushroom, a piece of kelp cook in a pot only 4-5 minutes (some seafood can be added such like shrimp and scallop), served with soy/lemon juice/minced scallion/grated fresh ginger. Simple and delicious!”
— Ko A.
Comment

The freshest tofu, of course, is the tofu you make yourself. But to make it, you'll need a tofu mold, the proper coagulant (calcium sulfate for Chinese tofu; magnesium chloride for Japanese), and a whole lot of high-quality soy milk (or a whole lot of soy beans, if you're planning to make the milk yourself, too).

Minh has calculated that, in Hodo Soy's facilities, it takes 25 pounds of soymilk to make 10 pounds of tofu; at home, it might cost you $28 in ingredients to make one store-sized block. You'll get more tofu for your buck if you make silken tofu, as the whey doesn't get pressed out in the process.

In the end, it's probably more economical to seek out high-quality, good-tasting tofu than it is to seek out high-quality, good-tasting, protein- and fat-rich soy milk, and then transform it into a block.

Just make sure to change the water!

Have you made tofu at home? Would you do it again? (Are you a tofu delinquent like I am?) Tell us in the comments.

5 Comments

Ko A. April 25, 2016
Tofu is four season food and forever.<br />Spring: simply stir fried with green vegetables and fresh ginger<br />Summer: fresh tofu (uncooked) garnish with minced scallion and grated fresh ginger served with lemon juice and light soy sauce<br />Fall: cut in large cubs (drege in flour) and deep-fried, saved with warm soy/dashi broth and grated fresh ginger. Hot fried-tofu deep in the broth.<br />Winter: U-DOFU (Tofu in bath); cubed tofu with some green vegetables, shiitake mushroom, a piece of kelp cook in a pot only 4-5 minutes (some seafood can be added such like shrimp and scallop), served with soy/lemon juice/minced scallion/grated fresh ginger. Simple and delicious!
 
Risottogirl April 22, 2016
Hood is wonderful. My fave is Tofu Yu also her in the SF Bay area.
 
cv April 20, 2016
I am no tofu delinquent: I buy San Jose Tofu with the intent on eating it that day, the same day it was made. Buying day-old tofu is like buying day-old bread.<br /><br />The commercial stuff in plastic tubs is utterly forgettable.
 
Kaitlin B. April 20, 2016
This makes so much sense! Admittedly, I am a delinquent.
 
Caroline L. April 20, 2016
me too, kaitlin, me too.