November 27, 2009

Carolyn's Persimmon Soy Shakes

From our own Carolyn Ash . . .

Persimmon Season has arrived, which means instant desserts that are naturally delicious! Hachiyas especially are nature's ready-made confection, with a sweetness, flavor and thickness that effortlessly rivals fruit conserves and pie fillings. Creating a creamy protein-rich pudding with them is as simple as blending the pulp from 3 Hachiyas with 1 Hodo Silken Custard. At the beanery, we've also been enjoying these easy shakes:


Breakfast Shake
1 C Hachiya Persimmon Pulp (approximately 3 persimmons)
1 Hodo Silken Custard
1 C Hodo Fresh Soy Milk
Lemon Zest
Juice from 1 Tangerine
1/2 t freshly grated Ginger

Holiday Spice Shake
1 C Hachiya Persimmon Pulp (approximately 3 persimmons)
1 Hodo Silken Custard
1 C Hodo Fresh Soy Milk
2 t ground Cinnamon
1/4 t ground Nutmeg
1/8 t ground Clove
2 T Maple Syrup, Honey or Agave, if desired

1. Pick out 3 Hachiya persimmons who are very ripe, with almost translucent skins about to split open from the weight of the fruit's jelly inside.
2. Peel the persimmon pulp out from the skin and discard the seeds and skin.
3. Blend the pulp in a blender or food processor until smooth.
4. Add all the other ingredients. Blend thoroughly.
5. Serve to family and friends. Enjoy the energy that natural sweetness and pure soy provides!

November 20, 2009

The Beanier, the Better

Each production day at The Beanery, the tofu making team shows up for work in the morning and starts making fresh soymilk. Hodo's soymilk is the basis of everything that we do, including both tofu and yuba. One of the things that we have learned through the years is that the better the soymilk, the better the tofu and yuba.

People often ask why our soymilk tastes so different from what they commonly find at the supermarket. Simply put, it is because we love the natural flavor of the soybean.

Hodo's soymilk is made the traditional Asian way: soybeans are soaked in water, ground, cooked, and the liquid (or soymilk) is strained from the bean pulp. That's it. Nothing else is added. The result is a wonderfully fresh, sweet taste that is, well, "beany". In contrast, most of the soymilk in American supermarkets has been made to taste more like cow's milk. The bean flavor has been neutralized and flavorings are added.

At Hodo, the beanier, the better. Because when we use this soymilk to make our tofu and yuba, the fresh flavor of the bean is one of the reasons that they taste so good.

During production, one of the ways that we guarantee that our products have all of the flavor that we want is by measuring the Brix of our soymilk. The Brix scale measures the percent of solids in a given weight of liquid. The higher the number, the more solids in that liquid. As applied to soymilk, the higher the number, the greater density of soybean in the milk and, therefore, the more natural flavor. Hodo tofu makers love high Brix.

These are photos of our head soymilk maker, Ray Chang, first checking a batch of soymilk and then measuring the Brix with a refractometer. Interestingly, this same device has been used for years in the winemaking industry. Winemakers use the Brix scale to measure the quality of the grapes on the vine and the juice before bottling. We have adapted this same concept; we know that the flavor of our chief ingredient (in our case, soybeans) determines the flavor of what we produce.

November 13, 2009

Some Recent Beanery Press

Thanks to Patricia Yollin (SF Chronicle) and Katie Robbins (The Atlantic) for the nice articles on Hodo and The Beanery this week!

And to Mike Kepka for catching Minh in yuba-making rapture here.

November 5, 2009

On the Menu

A few years ago, chefs started to include on their menus the names of the producers of some of their key ingredients (e.g. "Star Route Farms baby gem lettuce" or "Marin Sun Farms rib eye"). This helps restaurants to convey the quality, freshness and often local origin of the ingredients that they choose to use. Customers also like being able to appreciate the source and uniqueness of the dish.

Hodo has always been very thankful to the chefs who have put the Hodo name on the restaurant menus. We are proud of the fact that we are the first tofu company to achieve this "menu mention" status (see snapshot of the menu at The Slanted Door). The Hodo name is on the menu of restaurants of all types: everything from Asian to French, white table cloth to casual, and vegetarian to omnivore.

We have decided to highlight some of the restaurants and the dishes that they make from our products. We continue to be inspired by these innovative and delicious creations. So, in the posts ahead, we will occasionally write up a profile of some of these chefs, their restaurants, and their dishes using Hodo Soy Beanery products.

Stay tuned . . .