Saturday, December 30, 2017

tofu replacement

I've mentioned before that San Jose Tofu, the little old fresh tofu maker in Japantown, is closing down at the end of the year - in fact, today is their last, as they're normally closed on Sunday. I'd been buying my tofu from them regularly for a couple decades. I thought about going down there yesterday for one last brick, but even at opening time there was a long line all the way down the block, and I knew they would run out before I'd get in.

So the one we had last week was our last, I guess. Sometimes it's best not to know beforehand that you're doing something for the last time.

Is that the end of tofu? Because I won't eat the factory stuff that comes in sealed packages and has a shelf life. (Fresh tofu has to be eaten within a couple of days.) The packaged stuff is full of preservatives and feels and tastes just nasty.

Not quite. The news articles on the closing carried an unspoken implication that, while they were the biggest fresh-tofu maker and the best, maybe they weren't the only one around here.

So earlier this month I went looking. And I found it. SJ Tofu was Japanese, but I found two small Vietnamese stores in east San Jose that make their own tofu fresh daily, and besides selling it themselves, wrap it up in plastic, put a store sticker on it, and put it in tubs in the back of a large Asian supermarket in those parts.

So after leaving Japantown yesterday, I drove down there. It was around 9:30 AM. The tubs were in a refrigerated case but the tofu was still warm. I bought a brick, took it home, and made my basic tofu stirfry dish with it for dinner.

And it was good. Firmer and less creamy than SJ, but B. likes it firm. Not quite as good, but certainly adequate enough to keep buying.

And so the peril is no more. The quest for the tofu can continue.

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