Tofu for bentos

Eleven Clovers
Bento-ing from: Warsaw › Poland
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 34 weeks ago.

I really really love eating plain boring old boiled tofu, and I'd like to incorporate it into my bentos. However, when I tried to, by lunch time it had gone all gross and sour and I ended up having to chuck it away T_T Does tofu just not keep that well, or was I doing something wrong? If I want to bring tofu to school in my bento I usually end up having to fry it, which I hate, because it just loses that nice texture >.< Does anyone have suggestions?

Also, lately my mother and her friends seem to be getting very upset about tofu manufacturers putting gypsum into tofu. I'm a little confused; I thought gypsum was the coagulant you use in making tofu (or nigari). Should we be concerned?

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MikaCake
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Tofu for bentos

perhaps freezing it and putting the tofu in the bento while still frozen? that way it is just nicely defrosted by lunchtime. sorry, but i know nothing about the gypsum concern... though now i feel like i'd like some more information as well :)

oendr
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 4 years 8 weeks ago.
Re: Tofu for bentos

one of my favorite tofu adds to my bento is baked or grilled tofu. I have a small panini press and I love getting those pretty (tasty) grill lines on it! Not to mention it adds a lot of oomf visually!

caitielaine
Joined: 10 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 39 weeks ago.
Re: Tofu for bentos

I'd suggest looking into buying a tiny ice pack to stick in your bento or in your bento bag. My roommate uses a frozen water bottle as an icy, or sometimes she soaks some folded paper towels with water and freezes them then sticks them in a sandwich baggy and puts it in her bento then she packs the food in on top of it, she says it keeps things nice and cool and the baggy contains the water when it thaws so its not messy.

I just use the little bento icy I got in Japan, its bento-sized!!

Good luck!!

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http://caitielaine.blogspot.com/

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see? - Alice (in Wonderland)

annenayne
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 25 weeks ago.
Re: Tofu for bentos

Freezing tofu substantially changes its texture. Unless you want to switch to that texture (I use it a lot as a ground meat substitute), I wouldn't recommend freezing it.

Are you boiling it before adding it to your bento? That could account for it going sour by lunchtime.

I like firm, cold tofu with soy sauce. I just drain, rinse, cut up and put it in the bento. I've never had trouble with it going sour if I eat it that day (or the next day, I pack at night), but I also have access to a refrigerator. So yeah, an ice pack would probably suit you well.

Eleven Clovers
Bento-ing from: Warsaw › Poland
Joined: 7 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 34 weeks ago.
Re: Tofu for bentos

Thanks for the suggestions :)

I probably won't be freezing my tofu, but I will try looking into getting those mini ice-packs. They're so cute ^_^

@annenayne: yes, I am boiling my tofu before... should I not? When you say just drain, rinse and cut up are you talking about home-made tofu or store bought? I dunno if that makes any difference, but I had always been told by my mother that you have to cook the store bought stuff before you eat it.

annenayne
Bento-ing from: › California › USA
Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 5 years 25 weeks ago.
Re: Tofu for bentos

Well, I've never made tofu in my home, but I have bought fresh tofu at the local market. Either way, I don't boil it first.

I've never heard that you have to boil store-bought tofu. I've been eating firm and extra-firm tofu straight from the tub for more than 10 years. Salad bars just open the tub, cube it up and dump it in the bucket.

I don't want to go against your mother, and I don't have the materials in front of me to offer up a viable scientific explanation, but I suspect it's the boiling-then-storing that is turning your tofu.

maki
admin
Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 2 days 7 hours ago.
Re: Tofu for bentos

Gypsum is a coagulant that has been used for tofu making for hundreds of years, especially in mainland China in areas away from the coast where it was harder to get nigari - which is just made from sea water. In Japan, nigari is the usual coagulant, because you know, it's a bunch of islands surrounded by lots of sea! I do think tofu coagulated with nigari has a nicer texture...but that's a matter of what you are used to.

Do be careful of bring plain tofu for bento when it's hot, because tofu can go bad quite quickly. And be sure to change the water your tofu is stored in in the fridge every day to keep it as fresh as possible. I personally do not bring plain tofu for bento - I fry it, or scramble it, and so on. But if you like it...keep it fresh and cool!

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The Big Onigiri.

- Wherever you go, there you are. -

BarbJ
Bento-ing from: Cupertino › California › USA
Joined: 8 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 1 year 25 weeks ago.
Re: Tofu for bentos

I saw these really cute little plastic cubes filled with water that you freeze and then use as a mini ice pack for bentos. That might work for you. They were on eBay and were about $7.50 for a set of 8, that included shipping. I

don't know the rules about what we can link here, so just search 'Mini Cube Pink, Green, Blue, Purple Ice Packs for Bento' on eBay and you'll see them. I got a set locally a while ago and they're really great!

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BarbJ
http://barbsblab.blogspot.com/

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