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Tofu Turnaround

Let’s face it, not many of us are that tickled by tofu.

But Oakland’s new organic tofu producer, Hodo Soy Beanery, might just make you bonkers for bean curd.

That’s because Hodo’s products are made by hand, using much thicker soy milk to create its products. The results are tofu products with a very rich, creamy and fresh “beany” taste.

The factory was started by former financial consultant, Minh Tsai, who grew frustrated that he couldn’t find tofu as fresh and flavorful as he grew up eating in Vietnam.

Now, Tsai sells a variety of tofu and prepared tofu salads at Bay Area farmers markets and select gourmet grocers.

Besides prepared tofu salads, Hodo also produces what is thought to be the only fresh, organic yuba (tofu skin) manufactured in this country. Trays of soy milk are steamed until the proteins rise to the surface and form a skin. Then, each individual skin is lifted from each tray by hand and hung to dry, before being folded up into bags to be sold.

The yuba are like silky, paper-thin, noodles. They’re great julienned into salads, or rolled up into an almost faux “omelet.”

To learn more about Hodo Soy Beanery, take a visit during one of its twice-monthly public tours, where you’ll get to see the yuba being made and enjoy tastes of various tofu products.

And be sure to read my story in today’s East Bay Express to find out how Hodo and top Bay Area chefs such as Daniel Patterson at San Francisco’s Coi are transforming our attitudes about this once-mocked ingredient.

More: Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce