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Feb 23, 2009 08:38 AM

fresh tofu in the boston 'burbs?

I have a recipe for tofu cream and berries that calls for non-vacuum packed tofu. I shop at WF in Brookline and Newton and could only find packaged tofu or the aseptic cartons of tofu. I've read that fresh tofu from Asian markets is very good. Could someone suggest an Asian market near Brookline (please don't send me to ChinaTown - I'm not a good city driver. Allston, Brighton or Cambridge would be OK. Maybe I should make my own, although that could entail a bit of work. I tried the tofu cream recipe with firm tofu from WF and it was not edible. I'd like to try again, but with fresh tofu.

Thanks for any help you could offer.

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  1. Somer of the tofu's at Super88 in Allston are very fresh.

    2 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy

      That's one thing I've never found fault with there; they have several varieties of locally produced, fresh tofu.

      Addict, are you sure the recipe called for firm tofu?

      1. re: galleygirl

        Yes, it called for fresh, firm tofu. No instructions were given about draining the liquid, so I poured it off and squeezed out as much moisture as I could. I thought with a "cream" recipe, that silken tofu would have been recommended, but it wasn't.

    2. They have fresh tofu at Russo's in Watertown.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Allstonian

        Oh, good! I've never shopped there, but I know where to find it. My friends think it's a great place. I'll check it out.

      2. For a dessert you probably want silken or soft tofu, not firm.

        1 Reply
        1. The Kotobukiya Japanese market in the Porter Exchange building in Porter Sq always have very fresh locally made tofu.

          1. Chang Shing tofu co. is located in Cambridge at 37 Rogers St. They distribute locally, and might be one of the fresh ones they carry at Russo's but I'm not positive about that. You could try to contact them and see if it is available closer to you.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chicken with a Capon

              C-mart sells Chang Shing tofu, you can buy it there.

              However, as you might guess/know, tofu generally loses its soy flavour in a day, so it's hard to find tofu as fresh as you really want. anyone who has eaten tofu that has just been made an hour before cooking it knows the difference in taste from tofu that has been made 24 hours ago.

              However, conveniently, soymilk doesn't lose its flavour that fast. What you can do is buy unsweeted Chang Shing (made in Cambridge, therefore reasonably fresh, available in C-mart) soymilk, and make tofu from it.

              It's kind of hard to describe the whole procedure here but there are lots of resources online for this. For a tofu press, I cut holes in a plastic box, cleaned it well, and made the lid small enough to drop inside and put weights on top. For coagulant, hydrated food-grade CaSO4 is available in both Super 88 and Kam Man if not others also; food-grade MgCl2 is available on Amazon if you choose to use that. Cheesecloths are available in Shaw's, you'll need that too. you'll also need a sieve. then see pages online -- it's actually much less intimidating than it sounds -- and FUN -- i managed to get something reasonably tasty the first time -- the texture though is hard to get right but it takes some experimentation with the amounts and timings and weights, that's all, but otherwise, it's kind of fun and you get really fresh-tasting tofu. and starting from store-bought soymilk is a lot easier than starting with beans, too. :) i can actually convert a 2L store-bought bottle of soymilk to tofu in less than 30 minutes, so it's really not too bad to do it yourself :)

              the brief version of the basic procedure really is:
              0.line a plastic box with holes in the bottom with a cheesecloth. prop it on something so there is place for liquid to drain, and you probably want to put the whole thing in a pot so the water doesn't drain on your counter.
              1. heat up the soymilk till it's steaming up, but don't heat it all the way to boiling.
              2. add coagulant. for CaSO4, i usually mix about 2 tsp in 1/4 cup water, give it a good whirl, and slowly add in the coagulant while gently stirring the soymilk.
              3. lower the heat; the mixture will start to coagulate. when the water is truly clear (i.e. the curds have separated from the water), pour the whole thing into a sieve in the sink carefully. the sieve should catch the curds.
              4. quickly transfer curds into cheesecloth while still moist.
              5. wrap up the cloth, then place an rectangular flat piece into the box, over the cloth, that allows you to apply even pressure from the top. put some small weights on it -- not too much. more weight gives you firmer tofu.
              6. when the thing cools to close to room temperature, take off the retangular piece and weights, sink the rest of the box+cheesecloth into a pot of cold water, which wll let you easily undo the cloth without breaking the tofu. then have fun with the tofu !

              if what you want is silken tofu/tofu pudding/cream, you'll need to use GDL and skip the box/pressing/etc. i'm not too experienced with this but i imagine it's not too hard.

              1. re: yuanzhoulv

                Thank you very much for your detailed instructions on how to make fresh tofu. Does sound a little intimidating, but perhaps with practice, I could get the hang of it. I appreciate your taking the time to write everything out. I'm going to make a copy for my recipe folder.

                  1. re: Aromatherapy

                    GDL = Glucono delta lactone ... the typical coagulant you would use for silken tofu and desserts. It produces smooth tofu and coagulates the tofu in place as the water evaporates. Hence, it takes practise with the right temperature, proportions and time, but you don't have to drain the water and press the curds into a box.

                    CaSO4 and MgCl2 on the other hand coagulate the bean curds and largely separate them from the water, which is what you want for normal and firm tofu :) You'll have to do the pressing stage (the purpose of which gets rid of a little more water from the curds and simultanously makes all the curds stick together in one coherent block which is the shape of your box), but this procedure is a little more tolerant to messed up proportions/timing/heat than making silken tofu with GDL...