Myth Busting and FAQ

At Hodo Soy, we don’t believe that using good beans and crafting good blocks of tofu is enough. We believe that being tofu ambassadors is a large part of our work in the world. We are on a constant mission to demystify tofu through interactions with our community at farmers’ markets and public events. We like to think of our work as including the journey of bean to block and beyond. The ‘beyond’ part is our role as tofu ambassadors.

Here are just a few of the tofu myths Hodo Soy seeks to bust:
Myth: Tofu is a meat-substitute.
Fact: While tofu is a good source of plant-protein, Hodo Soy tofu is a delicious food in its own right that deserves a place on every table.

Myth: Tofu tastes bland and is rubbery.
Fact: Hodo Soy tofu is nutty, and because of the high protein content, it’s tender, while giving you a firm bite, with a tactile feel.

Myth: Tofu is highly processed, full of soy isolates and preservatives.
Fact: Hodo Soy tofu has three ingredients: soybeans, filtered water, and calcium sulfate (a natural mineral) and is made by hand in just a few steps.  We take whole beans, seedcoat and all, soak it, then stone mill it into a pulp, then press it.  There is no soy isolates.  We keep our tofu fresh by good handling, and using steam pasteurization.

Myth: Tofu is health food. Nothing more.
Fact: Hodo Soy tofu is good for us whether you are a vegetarian or a carnivore!  It is low in fat and high in protein.  Together with quinoa, soybean is the only plant-protein that has all the 9 essential amino acids that our body needs.  Soybeans are a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including folate, selenium, potassium and magnesium. They also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, including isoflavones, phenolic acids and sapanonins, and are the only bean containing omega 3-fatty acids.

Myth: Tofu isn’t for me.
Fact: Hodo Soy offers something delicious for everyone, from brown rice vegetarians to die hard bacon fans. Click here to see one way we like to think about the diverse spectrum of Hodo Soy lovers.

FAQ’s

1. What makes Hodo Soy’s tofu different/special?
2. Where are your soybeans from?
3. Can I visit the Beanery and see what you do?
4. How do I get a job at Hodo Soy?
5. Do you make fermented soy products like tempeh, miso or natto?
6. Can you donate food to my event or non-profit?
7. What is tofu and how is it made?
8. What is yuba and how is it made?
9. I hear that soy is good for you / bad for you – what is true?
10. What is calcium sulfate?
11. Do you pasteurized your tofu?
12. Do you use sprouted beans to make your tofu?
13. Where can I buy your products?
14. Do you ship?
15. How do I store the tofu products?
16. Can I freeze the tofu?
17. How do I cook the tofu?
18. Is Hodo tofu allergen-free?

1. What makes Hodo Soy’s tofu different/special?
We could write volumes about what makes Hodo Soy’s products unique, but we’ll sum it up with three ways that you will taste a difference:
1) Freshness. Soymilk, tofu and yuba deliver a completely different experience when eaten fresh. For this reason and because we don’t use any preservatives or stabilizers.
2) Good Beans. Good beans make good soymilk, good tofu and good yuba.  Our our soybeans are US-grown, certified organic, and are non-GMO.  We specify the beans to have high protein and fat content, which results in a richer, creamier soymilk and tofu. We only use whole soybeans, never any preservatives, soy flour, extracts or isolates.
We mostly buy our soybeans from a farmer owned cooperative called the Midwest Organic Farmers Cooperative.
3) Full-Spectrum Soy. Soy is so much more than soymilk and blocks of plain tofu. We aim to craft something for every taste, culinary use, and cuisine. Beyond our delicious soymilk and tofu, we make yuba (tofu skin) as well as a full line of flavorful ready-to-eat products such as our braised tofu, tofu salads, and tofu burgers.

2. Where are your soybeans from?
We buy most of our all-US grown, certified organic, non-GMO soybeans from a farmer owned cooperative called the Midwest Organic Farmers Cooperative.  We seek out soybeans that are higher in fat and protein content, which gives our soymilk and tofu a richer, creamier flavor.

3. Can I visit the Beanery and see what you do?
We welcome industry partners to visit our Beanery in West Oakland.  Previously we opened our Beanery to the community, however, due to Food Safety requirements, we are still redesigning our tour program, and recommend folks to view the various videos  we have on how our tofu and yuba are made.

4. How do I get a job at Hodo Soy?At Hodo, we are always eager to meet fun, honest and hard-working people of all backgrounds. A large part of why we make such great products is because we have a fantastic team. If you are interested in joining our team, simply send your resume and an introduction to resume@hodosoy.com

5. Do you make fermented soy products like tempeh, miso or natto?Currently, Hodo Soy makes only fresh, non-fermented soy products.

6. Can you donate food to my event or non-profit?
At Hodo Soy, it’s important to us to give back to our community. We currently donate to several Bay Area food banks and charity events. If you have an idea for Hodo Soy’s charitable efforts, please drop us a note.

7. What is tofu and how is it made?
Tofu is the curd of coagulated soymilk.  Traditionally produced tofu is made by grinding soybeans into a mash, cooking the mash, and then separating the remaining milk from the bean pulp. A mineral, such as calcium sulfate, is then added to the soymilk to produce curds. The curds are then pressed, forming blocks of tofu. The resulting tofu can be left in a soft, silken form, or pressed longer to create firmer blocks.

8. What is yuba and how is it made?
Yuba is simply the skin that forms at the top of a batch of fresh, steaming hot soymilk. Traditionally, soymilk is warmed from beneath, allowing the protein and fat to rise to the surface, forming a skin. The skin is then lifted from the milk by hand and hung to dry.

9. I hear that soy is good for you / bad for you – what is true?
Soybeans contain all three of the macro-nutrients required for good nutrition:  complete protein, carbohydrate and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals, including calcium, folic acid, and iron. Soybeans are the only vegetable that contain complete protein.

There are many different viewpoints on the health benefits of soybeans and we encourage all of our customers to talk to their health care practitioners if they have questions.   We have pulled together many articles on this subject.

At Hodo Soy, we see our fresh, organic, pure soymilk, tofu and yuba as simple, traditional foods with a long history as part of healthy diets in large populations of the world. We use only whole soybeans, no processed proteins or isolates, which we stone-mill ourselves.  Our production technique mimics those that are centuries-old.

10. What is calcium sulfate?
Calcium sulfate is a naturally occurring mineral that is the most traditional coagulant used in making tofu. When added to soymilk, calcium sulfate acts as a catalyst and binds to the protein in soymilk, forming curds.   These curds can then be left soft for silken tofu, or drained of whey and pressed firm to create different varieties of tofu.

11. Do you pasteurize your tofu?
Tofu is a fully-cooked product.  To make tofu, we boil soy mash with water, and then turn them into curds, then pressed them into tofu.  We vacuum-seal our tofu immediately to keep it safe from the environment, then steam pasteurize it to ensure the product keeps its freshness.   As such, tofu was never a raw product, and pasteurization merely keeps it safe without compromising its nutritional value.

12. Do you use sprouted beans to make your tofu?
We use dried whole mature soybeans to make our tofu.  We soak the beans for about 8-12 hours prior to stone-grinding the beans.

13. Where can I buy your products?
Hodo Soy products can be found in many farmers’ markets, restaurants, grocery stores, and on-site cafes at schools and corporations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.  Use our Store Locator to find Hodo products near you.

14. Do you ship?
We certainly do through our online store.

15. How do I store the tofu products?
All Hodo products should always be kept refrigerated and consume “Use By” date. For our Firm and Medium Tofu, rinse with cold water before use. Once opened, we recommend you consume within 3 days.
– Opened Firm Tofu are best kept submerged in a tub of cold water in the refrigerator
– For all other products, once package is opened, transfer to an airtight container
– Only the Yuba, Yuba Noodles and Tofu Nuggets may be frozen for extended shelf-life, and are to be frozen by the “Use By” date.

16. Can I freeze the tofu?
Some cooks purposely freeze the tofu to change the tofu texture from a smooth and tender to a spongy and chewy texture that readily absorbs flavors, and mimics the mouthfeel of meat.  To do so, place the tofu in its original package in the freezer till it becomes solid.  The color will be deeper.  Then thaw in the refrigerator.  The water molecules will become ice and be expelled from the tofu, leaving a web-like mass behind.

17. How do I cook the tofu?
We have a number of recipes on our website.  Or look at our Pinterest page where we have amassed the wisdom of cooks all around the world.

18. Is Hodo tofu allergen-free?
Tofu contains the allergen soy. At Hodo, we strive to adhere to FDA’s guidelines to ensure our products are made in the safest way possible. We adhere to FDA guidelines on allergen handling, and practice GMP in our facility. We have annual audits on our GMP/ Food Safety Systems through Meriuex/ Siliker. However, we do not certify that our facility is an allergen-free facility. We do make all our products here at our facility in Oakland, and we do not make any other products other than Hodo-branded products. You may find our products’ complete ingredient list on our website under each item Product Sheet. We do not require our vendors to provide us products made in a certified allergen-free facility.

Have a question that we don’t answer here? Send it our way and we’ll do our best to respond with the answer.