What is tofu?
Tofu is a high protein, plant-based food made from soybeans. It has been eaten for over 2000 years and we still make it using the same 3 ingredients they used back then - soybeans, water and nigari. It comes in many forms including firm, silken, marinated, stinky and fried to name a few. Our tofus are firm, meaning the tofu holds it's shape when cooked and has a good bite in it's texture. We hope to launch a silken tofu soon, which as it's name suggests, brings it's own culinary delights.
Is tofu good for you?
Tofu is a complete protein meaning it is the same as eating meat, fish or eggs. Tofu is relatively low in saturated fat and is higher in fibre and calcium than it's animal derived counterparts.
How do I cook tofu?
Tofu is so versatile. It can be fried, baked, scrambled, grated, minced or simply added to soups and sauces. One of the easiest ways to prepare is to simply cut it into cubes and fry over a medium heat adding a little salt and pepper to your liking. Eat hot from the pan or allow to cool and eat later as a snack. See some of our recipes
Do I have to press tofu?
If you prefer a crisper, firmer texture it is good to press the tofu before cooking. You can buy a 'tofu press' if you're into gadgets, but we just wrap our tofu in a clean tea towel and place underneath a chopping board and pile a few cook books on top. Leave for 10 to 30 mins. You'll be surprised how much water soaks out! But to be honest I didn't press tofu for years and it still goes crispy on the outside while remaining soft in the middle! Equally as delicious depending on what texture you are in the mood for or depending on recipe.
Can I freeze tofu?
It depends. Freezing tofu changes the texture of the tofu quite dramatically. The best way to eat from frozen is to fully defrost in the fridge, then remove from packaging and give the tofu a firm but gentle squeeze with your hands over a sink - a lot of water will drain out! It can then be chopped and fried as usual but it will be crispier with a chewier texture - which we really enjoy! I wouldn't recommend freezing our marinated tofus as squeezing would be very messy and you'd lose most of the marinade down the drain :/
What is tofu made from and how is it made?
Tofu is made from soybeans. The green soybeans are allowed to dry on the plant before harvesting. The resulting dried beans are yellow and it is these beans that are used to make tofu.
We soak our dried beans in spring water before feeding through a grinding machine which separates the beans into soymilk and okara*.
We use the soymilk to make tofu. We boil the soymilk in large vats and then cool it and add nigari which is a by-product of sea-salt. Nigari coagulates the soymilk turning it into curds an whey. We then scoop the curds and whey into our tofu moulds and press them. When pressing is done, we cut the tofu into blocks, add any marinade and pack.
* We currently give the okara to a local biodigester which is then fed back into the national grid as useable energy. Okara has many other uses in food as it is very high in fibre and protein as well as other nutrients - as we are such a small operation and just starting out we are not yet ready to make food from okara. We hope to in the coming years!
Is soy bad for the environment?
Yes and no. 90% of the soy grown worldwide is used as animal feed. It is genetically modified and non-organic. In some countries demand for animal feed is leading to deforestation as soy farms expand to meet supply.
The soy beans we use in all of our tofus are grown to organic standards and are non-GMO. We also source our all our soybeans from Europe, where deforestation is not an issue. It is also as 'local' as soy gets, which is important to us. We hope in the future that soy beans will be able to be grown closer to home.
Why do we use plastic to package our tofu?
Plastic gets a bad wrap. Pardon the pun. And we know why it does, deservedly. Single use plastics are detrimental for the environment. However, food is often immeasurably better off when stored in plastic simply due to the fact that it reduces so much food waste as it keeps food fresher for longer. It also makes food more affordable for the general public and we want our healthy food to be within reach of all budgets. Also our plastic wrap is now widely recyclable in Ireland, so just wash in warm soapy water, dry and pop into your plastic recycling bin.