Started by Minh Tsai in 2004, Hodo Soy Beanery has grown from a small business selling at Palo Alto Farmers’ Markets to the ever growing company it is today with their products in places ranging from Berkeley Bowl to Chipotle. The people at Hodo Soy Beanery take pride in creating the best tofu they can. Using organic non-GMO beans is integral in creating their tofu, which mainly consists of soy milk and a calcium sulfate that acts as a coagulant.
Part of their mission is to demystify the production of tofu. Tofu is essentially soy milk cheese. After the coagulant is added, the mixture of soy milk and calcium sulfate is heated. Once a curd forms, the mixture is drained and the curd is pressed into tofu at various pressures depending on the intended final texture.
Tofu is not the only product at Hodo, they also make yuba, which is tofu skin. To make yuba, the soymilk is gently heated so that the fat and the proteins rise to the top, forming a sheet that is then skimmed off and hung on metal rods to dry. Yuba, if you have never had it before, is exceedingly delicious with a taste similar to a silken tofu, particularly when freshly prepared.
Hodo’s tofu, yuba, and soymilk break tofu free of the often assumed bland-meat-replacement stereotype. The respect they show towards the sourcing of ingredients and the creation of tofu reveals itself in their final product. A product that can stand on its own or within a dish whilst ever maintaining its integrity.
So keep your eye out for Hodo Soy products, which can be found at the Berkeley Student Food Collective, various Whole Foods, and Costco’s and other locations listed on their website.