Even if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, you’ve probably heard of tofu... but you’re not entirely sure what it is. At least you know that it’s something you can eat, right?
According to Healthline, tofu is made from condensed soy milk using a process similar to cheesemaking.
In Oregon in the United States, there’s a tofu factory called Ota Tofu that was establish in 1911. That’s a pretty long time ago, so we’re convinced that they know what it’s all about.
Ota Tofu makes tofu every single day and it’s all still done by hand. How, you ask?
First the soybeans are soaked in water, the longer they soak, the better the tofu. Then, the soaked beans are added to a grinder before it’s put into a pressure cooker. This lets some steam off and kills any bacteria that might have made themselves comfortable among the beans.
Now that the beans have turned into milk, the soy milk is added to a nylon bag and put in a presser to get the most milk out of the bag as possible to create the curd.
Similar to when milk is heated, a skin forms on the top layer of the soy milk. This is called yuba, and a lot of companies sell that as a byproduct to be eaten either raw or fried.
When the guys at Ota Tofu say they make their tofu by hand, they mean it. Even the stirring is done by hand and not a machine.
A cheesecloth is used to get rid of the last bit of water inside the curd before it’s put under massive pressure to get rid of even more water.
After repeating this process for what seems like forever, the tofu is cooled down in water and cut into different sizes.
And then, finally, it’s ready to be packaged. The irony? Tofu doesn’t really taste like anything. It adopts the flavour of what it’s made with, like oil, seasoning or sauces.
All of that work for nothing?
Watch the Eater video below to see how handmade tofu is made at Ota Tofu in Oregan, United States.
Image credit: Pinterest