You can get bulk tofu at Berkeley Bowl, and both Berkeley and El Cerrito Natural Groceries -the tofu at the last two is for sure from Tofuyu. Beware, though, it's set out in a plastic bin with a set of tongs on top. I have witnessed someone (at BB) drop the tongs into the water, then fish them out and lay on top -not exactly sanitary.
I've been trying to contact the company Tofuyu to see if I can swing by and pick up directly from them, since you can only get the firm tofu in bulk, and we use silken a fair amount. No one is picking up the phone <sigh>.
I don't know about anywhere else in the Bay Area. That includes not knowing what's available at Rainbow Grocery -the local Mecca for all things bulk.
Thanks Jay. Unfortunately the Bay is so large, and I am in Santa Cruz, a bit of a distance from Berkeley and most other places. It looks like Tofuyu sells fresh tofu at some farmer's markets near you though? Have you tried doing that?
I'm not sure what the best solution is. I haven't found any manufacturers close to here.
I spoke with the Tofuyu vender once at the Saturday Farmer's Mkt, and he's the one who suggested going directly to their "factory". He only had prepackaged tofu, which I thought was a bit odd -but whatever.
If you haven't already discovered your local venues for bulk in general, there's a few listed on the BULK app, but there's no way (on the app) to tell if they carry bulk tofu. I guess you would have to call each one….
FWIW, am beginning to research the possibility to make my own silken tofu. I'm not too sure about whether it's worth the effort, but may be worth at least an experiment. Making firm tofu seems like A LOT of trouble.
Rainbow sells bulk tofu. I can't believe people would drive from Santa Cruz to S.F. just to get tofu in bulk. Sounds like an enviro nightmare. I would check around at small natural groceries in your area, not the big places but small mom and pop type places. Not sure how fresh it would be but if they carry it, ask what day they restock.
Yes! I've made Silken Tofu following Andrea Nguyen's directions. Once I followed her recipe EXACTLY it came out great:
Bulk soy beans + gypsum (not bulk, but supposedly could get from a place selling beer making supplies) + blender + nut milk bag/muslin + some time
We make a mock "Alfredo" sauce, as well as using as a substitute for eggs in [care package] cookies we send to our adult child who's a Vegan. I'm certainly going to expand our repertoire since it's so easy to make, and this along with home made almond and cashew milk, other substitutes, have pretty much eliminated any need/desire to purchase milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, etc. Our use of eggs has dropped significantly as well.
BTW, if you don't have access to firm tofu, I suspect Nguyen's recipe for that would work as well.
Any packaging associated with the gypsum is significantly less than that associated with store bought Silken Tofu...
I also saw someone use their high speed juicer to separate the soy bean mash from the mylk, possibly an option for someone here if squeezing a nut bag is not their preferred method. I have been buying mine at WalMart, for $4 I get a 64 oz tetrapack of soy beans and water, plain version from Westsoy. Our recycler takes tetrapacks but I am starting to move away from that as I see how easy it really is to make our own soy mylk. We just use it for cooking so probably go through about 2 of those boxes per month.
I am more inclined to try to make Burmese Tofu as it skips the whole "cooking beans" step and uses a cooked batter based on chickpea flour. Need to find sub for the parchment paper used to line the pans, though. Seems to make a more soft tofu but that is fine for most of our purposes.
Jay, you have to share your cookie recipe! How intriguing to use tofu?!
You're right, gypsum works as a coagulant and creates a product with no curds, rather more like a firm pudding. Apparently Soy Mylk is one of the few non dairy "milks" that will actually curdle!
Good idea about the juicer; being more than a little OCD, squishing the nut bag = meditate time. It could get tedious, though, if you go through a lot, and since no preservatives, it spoils a lot quicker than store bought.
I, too, have made a version of the Burmese Tofu! Ended up making breaded/fried sticks with it. Ridiculously high fat because of the frying, but came out a lot like fried mozzarella sticks!
BTW, chickpea flour is a fantastic ingredient: really light for breading, etc. Your recommended uses for the "Tofu"?? I lean on soy based tofu a lot as a meat sub for myself, one other in our house.
Parchment paper -hmm. Invest in silicone molds?? Good news/bad news: they seem to last FOREVER.
FWIW, we just use Mrs Field's Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, subbing ¼C blenderized Silken Tofu for each egg, vegan butter (NEXT project for me to make), and Chocolate Chips sans milk products (WF, bulk). A bit different, but still delish according to my "kid".
For those who care- Just watched the YT video of Nguyen. In it she also used gypsum for firm tofu, and it showed the soy milk literally curdling-- diff between making firm and silken seems to be (1) adding gypsum [a lot more for firm] when hot (firm) vs cold (silken), and (2) using homemade "rich" soy milk (silken) vs "light" soy milk (firm). In her book, she recommends Nigari crystals or liquid, Gypsum, or Epsom salts for the firm tofu, only gypsum for silken.