Tuesday, 22 October 2013 21:33

Making Tofu - maybe not

It almost seems since tofu is such a simple, almost bland tasting ingredient, making tofu must be easy. I’ve always loved tofu and during my travels around the world I’ve more than once considered making my own as getting fresh tofu was often difficult.

Finding  those people making tofu

Those discoveries of the precious source of tofu itself have always been highlights of my stays and I remember several of them clearly. In Kazakhstan I was lucky enough to find a Korean shop barely a block from my house - they were making tofu sold in huge blocks on certain days of the week at incredibly low prices and my tofu intake was according.

In Latvia there was a rather eccentric, tofu passionate lady in a tiny health food shop barely fitting two customers at a time, selling a variety of flavors: carrot, garlic, dill… it was basically tofu heaven and I remember braving frozen over sidewalk on many days to get to that carrot tofu.

Since I’ve moved to Cyprus I’ve reconsidered once again to learn making tofu and have done my research, but, as luck would have it…

My latest tofu source discovery

At first I only knew about the kind in a tetra pack that I’ve been trying to stay away from unless I really, really needed tofu for a vegetarian guest at Mary’s Dinner Club. Then a friend told me about fresh tofu being sold at a little Sunday market organized by the large Vietnamese, Sri Lankan, Thai communities here. However, Dinner Clubs being held on Saturdays, Sunday was not the ideal day for acquiring the precious ingredient.

Then I heard of it being sold in a shop and yes indeed - there is Lina at her little, newly opened Vietnamese ‘Thuy Nga Mini Market’ not only selling tofu, but making it herself too - fresh tofu seven days a week! Heaven! Lina told me she‘s a fourth generation tofu maker and started learning at the age of nine. As a teenager she once told her mum that if she leaves, she will not make tofu ever again as it is such hard work. Obviously her mum could hardly believe her ears when her now adult daughter recently called her to tell her that she is making tofu again - in Cyprus! How lucky we are!

Plans have been made with Lina to teach me how to make tofu according to her family’s tradition. But for those not having a Vietnamese tofu maker/teacher nearby, there’s help:

Here’s a tutorial on making tofu

If you’d like to take up tofu making, there’s a beautiful, very insightful and clever book called Asian Tofu: Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home

To increase your tofu recipe repertoire, there’s Tofu Cookery, America’s top authority on cooking with tofu since 1883. Including  soups, salads, dips, breads, sweets…

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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