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Tofu maker grinds out historical taste

Updated: Jul 6, 2023 Print
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Shen grinds soybeans at the workshop. [Photo provided to]

Shen Xiaofang, a tofu making technique inheritor in Motou town, Rugao, East China's Jiangsu province, has preserved the century-old techniques quite well.

Whenever the air is permeated with a strong fragrance of soybeans, neighbors know that Shen is making tofu. They all agree that Shen's tofu tastes good and they cannot find the flavor from other tofu makers.


Tofu cubes are wrapped in gauze to take shape. [Photo provided to]

For Shen, making tofu is not only a part of life, but also a mission. The tofu maker noted that her great grandfather created Motou tofu and that she is proud to carry on the century-old techniques.

To preserve the original flavor, Shen still uses a mud-made stove and iron pots to boil soybean milk while some others employ more efficient electric cookers, which cannot cook soybean milk quite as deliciously.


Motou tofu. [Photo provided to]

In addition, brine is the key to making tofu. Each tofu maker has their own secret brine recipe, as does Shen, who inherited the recipe from her great grandfather.

"Our Motou tofu will not be ruined when it is cut into shreds or pieces," said Shen, who tore a piece of tofu apart, showing its tender and smooth surface and resilience.

With such a superior quality, Motou tofu has garnered a large number of fans and Shen often works overtime to fulfill their orders.

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