We were on the hunt for locally made tofu and soy milk for this months challenge. Soybeans are not grown here in the amounts that would be needed to supply a tofu company. But because Asian food is such a large part of Hawaiʻi’s food consumption, small businesses have been key suppliers of main staples, like tofu and noodles. Even if they need to get their main ingredients shipped in.
We tried Aloha Tofu and also got a gallon of soy milk that was almost $10. Only to find that soy milk, straight from the factory without sweetener tasted terrible. Brian kept saying it tasted like turkey.
I tried to change the flavor by adding in a golden milk paste I had made awhile ago. But it didn’t take the “turkey” flavor away. I had then heard that Aloha Tofu used GMO soybeans but Mrs. Cheng’s in Kalihi did not.
So we ventured to Mrs. Cheng’s. It was quite an experience. There were two doors and we walked in one and found ourselves in the main kitchen where they made the tofu. There were two people there and they just looked at us and kept busy.
I wondered, Where is the counter or register to purchase tofu? There was none. Even going through the other door, we were in the same room. With lost looks on our faces, the woman came up to us to help. I asked if we could get some tofu. She pulled them out of a cooler right in front of us.