Learn how tofu is made using traditional Chinese methods.
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The Traditional Chinese Tofu Making Process
Host: Over 2000 years ago during the Han Dynasty, bean curd was said to have been invented by accident. The evidence School of Yuan had enlisted the help of eight learning colleagues to create a potion of immortality. Liu An and his team scholars experimented with many ingredients including soymilk and a natural mineral called gypsum. The two ingredients reacted in such a way that the soy milk solidified into a substance that was soft to the touch what we know today as bean curd.
Back in Ta Chuan Village, Lu and his wife are ready with their thickened soymilk. In the next stage, gypsum is added as coagulative agent. This will cause the liquid soy milk to solidify into a smooth soft consistency. Even a small time bean curd makers like Lu Xingwen and his wife struggle to make ends meet, they still manage to find a deeper meaning behind what they do. After all, the Chinese word for bean curd tofu sounds very much like the Chinese phrase that poetically means everyone happy.
Lu Xingwen: During festive seasons, Chinese will buy some beancurd for cooking. Because we believe, having beancurd will bring us happiness all year round.
It is unlikely Lu and his wife will ever get rich making bean curd the basin thrift taking them more uncomplicated attitude. If they believe that cooking bean curd does in fact bring happiness all year round, then perhaps that will be their reward. And perhaps they’re daily toil in some small way celebrates the legacy of a great culinary invention in the small pamphlet corner of China.