A few months ago, Spenser magazine approached me to photograph a story about the craft behind the tofu at Hodo Soy Beanery. Knowing nothing about the whole process, and always game for a new challenge, I jumped at the opportunity. Julie Wolfson and I spent a morning at the beanery before hopping across the bay to sample an array of tofu dishes at The Slanted Door. You can read the full story in the latest issue of the magazine (which also features work from fellow bloggers Rick and Asha) and, if you really really like it, purchase a printed copy for posterity!
After that visit, Minh invited me back for a stage at the beanery where I could really dig in and get a hands-on experience for the tofu and yuba (tofu skin)-making process. Despite being fully kitted out with state-of-the-art tofu-making equipment flown in from Taiwan, it is the human touch that does most of the work to create a slab of Hodo tofu. Machines steam the organic, non-GMO soybeans specially trucked in from the Midwest, crush it into a slurry to produce deliciously rich soymilk, some of which is bottled for consumption, and some reserved for yuba-making. The rest is transferred to another machine that adds filtered water and calcium sulfate (the coagulant), stirs it altogether and lets the mixture sit for a bit before piping it out into sturdy metal molds lined with cheesecloth. Now this is where it gets fun.