Located in an alley, about a block away from Chùa Việt Nam (a Vietnamese Buddhist temple I volunteer at) is Northwest Tofu. This is where the temple goes for its weekly tofu needs, reason not being because they’re close, but because the tofu here is the best in the market. Many different brands of tofu are sold in Seattle markets, and a handful (about 10) of those brands are made in Seattle. Needless to say, if you’re in Seattle getting your hands on a piece of tofu is easy as pie. But what makes Northwest Tofu’s tofu better than the rest? It’s their taste, texture and quality. Their taste is unbeatable; rich and creamy. The texture is smooth and silky. Quality wise, the tofu is made daily, always fresh and warm if you buy them at the factory.

Armed with a camera, notepad and a pen I decided to spend my Friday morning on a short field trip at the tofu factory. The people there are extremely nice and were more than happy gave me a tour. Their family run operation uses an average of 300lbs of soy beans a day. Most of their costumers are restaurants but their products are only sold fresh at the factory and at 3 grocery stores in Seattle. They produce all types of tofu and also offer soy milk, yu chao kway, sesame pancakes, onion pancakes, and rice milk.

Making of tofu is hard work! I requires time, and lots of manpower…..yeah and soybeans too.

The process begins; Soybeans are soaked overnight:

The beans are then grounded up and the “milk” is extracted:

The milk is then coagulated in large wooden barrows, once the mixture sets, it is stirred to break up and separate the curds and whey:

Meanwhile, the wooden moulds are prepared by lining them with cheesecloth:

The mixture is now then poured into the moulds:

The moulds are capped before being pressed (to remove excess water) and you are rewarded with tofu!

Soybean pulp at the end of the day is then sold to farms which trun it into animal feed:

I mentioned they also make yu chao kway right? Here’s some fresh out of the fryer:


Warm thank you to
Northwest Tofu for opening your doors and giving me such a wonderful and detailed tour. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!



Comments (20)

On 5:43 AM , Mellie said...

Well done on your foodblog, tt... You really did a good job! *salutes* Am I the first to post?! Am I am I?! haha...

 
On 2:33 PM , SeaDragon said...

tt,
Great pics of tofu making! You must have enjoyed the tour :)

 
On 12:02 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

mellie,
hehehe...you're the 4th to post. thanks for stopping by

seadragon,
yeah, the tour was really interesting, after seeing how much work it takes to make tofu; it boggles my mind that a piece only cost .60 cents. I seems like it should cost more, since it takes so much time and labor to produce it.

 
On 7:36 PM , lilyng said...

tt

good improvement in your blog. did they show you how to make 'tofu pok' which is the fried tofu?

 
On 9:39 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

lily,
tofu pok = fried tofu? They were frying YCK at the time I was there.

 
On 7:54 PM , Anonymous said...

I appreciated the completeness of your blog on Northwest Tofu. How did you go about arranging a tour? Do they accept groups?

 
On 9:00 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

Anonymous,
Due to my affiliation with the temple, I’m a “regular” at the factory. Thus, for my tour I just walked in and asked to take some pictures. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to give arrange group tours. I can ask them on your behalf if you like.

 
On 2:02 PM , Anonymous said...

If you could ask them, that would be fabulous! I hope to take about 15 kids with chaperones this summer and wanted to make sure it would be okay to have larger tours. Is it close to Viet Wah?

 
On 9:27 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

it's about 3 mins. from viet wah. I'll ask them when they reopen (they're closed for new years).

 
On 7:29 AM , Anonymous said...

I am interested in taking a group of 5th grade students on a tour of Northwest Tofu. Would you know who I can contact to do this?

 
On 7:03 PM , hoangtam/tt said...

contact them at: 206-328-8320

 
On 1:23 AM , Hil Liao said...

This is the address and business hours:
Northwest Tofu Inc.
1911-1913 S. Jackson St
Seattle,WA 98144
Tel 206-328-8320
hours: Monday-Saturday 7am-5:30pm
Sunday 7am-4pm(Wednesday Off)
Sunday 7am-4pm(Wednesday Off)

 
On 12:19 AM , Anonymous said...

Hi tt,

Love your blog! What's the bottom of the wooden mould look like? How do they keep the tofu from not going throught the bottom while letting the water out?

Thanks for sharing.

DVN

 
On 12:43 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

the bottom of the mould is just a big piece of wood with small holes drilled in them. The cheese cloth keeps the tofu from falling out of the moulds during pressing process.

 
On 11:04 PM , Sukkimi said...

wow that's a great reading. I love tofu!

 
On 3:14 PM , Anonymous said...

Did they use Gypsum to make tofu? Thanks for your info.

 
On 5:04 PM , tusen said...

thanks for sharing , I hope I meet u at Chua Viet Nam when I visit Seattle :)

need ur help to show me the places and temple in Seattle. Unfortunately, u are no longer online in the blog :D ... poor me!

 
On 1:21 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

tusen,

I'm still here...just not able to post as much as I would like to.

 
On 8:28 PM , tusen said...

can u give me ur contact information which i can reach u as soon as possible. I ll be in Seattle next week and plan to travel some places in Seattle. May u be my guide? Do u know Skiing places near Seattle? do u know how can i reach the skiing place without car?

hope ur response

 
On 2:15 AM , hoangtam/tt said...

tusen,

the closest place to ski would be about 1 1/2 hours out of the city, and you'll need a car to get there.

leave me your email via a comment and I'll contact you (the comment won't be posted unless I approve it; rest assured I won't approve the comment so no one else will see your email).