Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dong Phuong Tofu - Westminster

You know those white, brick-sized tofu blocks you see at Asian markets all around Orange County? Ever wonder where they're made? Well, here it is: Dong Phuong Tofu factory in Westminster -- in my opinion, the best supplier of this wonder curd, local or otherwise.

When you buy it at a supermarket, the prices are marked up, but not by much. Buying it at Dong Phuong, thereby cutting out the middleman, won't save you more than a few cents. A tofu block will set you back $1.50 here; it's maybe $2 elsewhere.

But you should still buy it direct. And the reason is freshness. Here, the tofu is not days or hours old, but minutes, sometimes even seconds from the tofu press. It's so fresh, in fact, it's steaming, scalding to the touch, almost virginal in its purity.

Some of you are probably wondering, "So if I buy one, what do I do with it?"

Well, anything.

Tofu is merely a springboard to culinary greatness. Forget about it healthiness. That's a given. It's just a great ingredient.

Besides, my favorite preparation is unhealthy at best. I cut the whole block lengthwise and into quarter inch thick slices, then marinade for twenty or so minutes in a salt water brine that has plenty of mashed, pulverized garlic cloves (you can't have too much garlic). After the soak, I deep fry them until they float like rafts and take on a crispy golden sheen. Eaten with rice, maybe some roasted broccoli or other greens, one can call it a meat substitute. I just call it a great and easy meal.

Deep frying, by the way, shows off how well-made Dong Phoung's tofu is. The crust gets a bubbly, porous crunch, while the insides puff up to a hollow lightness. The quality is seen in the curd, which has a tighter texture and a more resilient constitution than that of lesser brands.

If you're feeling lazy too lazy too cook, you could try their ready made fried tofu cubes ($2.50 a bag), which aren't salted or seasoned, but demonstrates this quality -- all as airy as ping pong balls.

And if you're there when they have the sesame balls, don't hesitate. Buy as much you can. The sesame-crusted, deep fried orbs are crunchy, filled with sugary mashed mung beans, and will be the best you'll ever crunch. No, they don't have anything to do with tofu. But they're great just the same.

Dong Phuong Tofu
(714) 894-7002
15022 Moran Street
Westminster, CA 92683

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12 Comments:

At 6:30 PM, Anonymous JB said...

Among other things, I like tofu in soup...
so thanks, Elmo, for a timely seasonal reminder of where to get some premium bean curd for broth immersion.

And hey, am I dreaming, or did you already do a post about this same place within the past few years?

Man, it seems like Monster Munching has been in reruns forever!! I've already watched the Season 6 DVD a dozen times, and I can't wait for Season 7.
Not to mention the Monster Munching movie that's set for Spring 2011.

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger HoustonWok said...

LOL the commentary is hilarious, I've never heard to anyone referring to tofu fresh from the factory as "Virginial in it's purity." Love it love it, tofu is great and definitely a gateway to many food opportunities. Thanks for sharing.

 
At 8:46 PM, Blogger EatTravelEat said...

Thanks for sharing! Normally I would not buy these types of tofu at the market as it isn't really sanitary with the tofu pretty much still soaked in the liquid which can be touched by everybody. But I would buy it if I went here.

Those tofu puffs are so not rectangle looking! They look like globes of delicious fried tofu.

Isn't it weird that my word verification is the word "india"?

 
At 8:55 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

JB,

Man, I have to commend you! I had no idea anyone read my previous piece on Dong Phuong Tofu, let alone remembered it well enough to know that I did! You're absolutely right! I have written about this place before. I did a a similar article on OC Weekly that was hidden, more or less lost, in a big, thick Food issue we did. But this one is actually not a rerun. It's a remake! Like King Kong, it's debateable whether it's better than the original.

I had actually intended to review their sesame balls this time, but alas, they RAN OUT!

Gee, I hope there's not a shark in Season 7 that needs jumping.

HoustonWok,

HA! But it is virginal! You don't want a tofu's that's been messing about. The fewer hands touch the tofu, the better!

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger elmomonster said...

EatTravelEat,

You read my mind. I've actually never bought this tofu anywhere else but the factory. Part of it is that I don't know how long it's been sitting out, another part is that I'm cheap! A few cents is still a few cents!

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger Juliet said...

I wish the local tofu and soy product maker (Rosewood in Ann Arbor) would sell direct. I imagine the IS really good when it's that fresh!

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Juliet,

You're so right. Tofu is like the opposite of cheese (which it resembles). Unless we're talking about stinky tofu, tofu is best when it's not aged, which perhaps also applies to stinky tofu too! HAHA!

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger Juliet said...

Oh, I am so craving stinky tofu now! But I'm pretty sure I'm pregnant, so I don't think I should be eating any...

 
At 7:07 AM, Blogger elmomonster said...

Wow! Baby #3! Congrats to you and Dave! And I had no idea that stinky tofu is to be avoided when one's expecting! I learn something new every day.

 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger Juliet said...

Thanks! I'm not entirely sure if I am yet. I'll be taking the home test on Monday morning.
I don't know if I need to avoid stinky tofu, but better safe than sorry, right?

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Exile Kiss said...

Hi elmomonster,

Nice! Thanks for the info on this fresh Tofu factory. I didn't know they were open to the public. Now I have even more of an excuse to visit my friends in O.C. and pick up some fresh Tofu on my way back. :)

 
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