I live in a very frugal household. It is just my husband and I, but we are easily frugal enough to cover a 6-person family. My husband is a pure value shopper, he looks for the best quality for the best price, never settling for less, yet never paying for unnecessary extras. On the other hand, while I am a solid value shopper, once in a while, I just like to “upgrade” with food, especially when the cost difference really isn’t that large. One example of this is tofu. Our local store has a generic brand that is less than a dollar and non-GMO. Since it is non-GMO, there isn’t a great reason I can give him to warrant grabbing an organic (and consequently more expensive) version instead. Nonetheless, when I must make a trip to Whole Foods (believe it or not, a few items really are cheaper there), and he isn’t around, I am compelled to buy at least one package of Nasoya Organic Tofu.
We aren’t talking big bucks here. On sale, Nasoya usually rings up at somewhere between $1.25 and 1.50 at my local store, but in my husband’s eyes, this is more than a 50% mark-up on the cheapy brand. Yet, while I can’t explain my reasoning, I keep going for Nasoya. It is hard for me to define the differences between “plain old tofu,” but somehow, I just like it better.
I have trialed a few of the varieties, all of which are water-packed and sold in the refrigerated section.
The cubed super-firm tofu is admittedly handy, but definitely a luxury item. At my store, it usually costs the same or more than the other tofu varieties, yet the contents are smaller. While it is nice to open the package and toss those ready to cook cubes in (I sampled them with a baked tofu bite recipe from Vegan Bites), cutting up tofu myself really isn’t a big time consumer.
The extra-firm block is my favorite. I am not really a “make everything with tofu” type of dairy-free person. I minimize my soy intake and I actually like tofu. We try not to purchase products with soy (not even soy oil), so soy lecithin in chocolate, tamari or shoyu, and miso are the only forms of soy that typically enter our house. But tofu is a treat that I enjoy once a week as a protein tossed into stir-fries. The extra-firm works great for this and is easy to slice.
I tried the firm once, and it is still a great product, especially you need a tofu for mashing, but I found it a bit too soft for my stir-fry needs.
I purchased the soft to test in a ricotta recipe I was working on for my book. The texture was a bit coarser than ricotta, and when seasoned lightly with lemon juice, a touch of oil, and a pinch of salt, it tasted remarkably like cottage cheese! Some nutritional yeast punched this up a bit too. However, when I trialed it in my eggplant manicotti, it wasn’t the perfect fit. I decided to go with a combination of regular firm and silken firm instead, which worked much better. The soft will work better for dips or in applications where cottage cheese may be welcome.
When I couldn’t find the Mori-Nu shelf stable silken tofu, I picked up the silken tofu from Nasoya. It was a good product, but I can definitely see where the shelf stable beats out water-packed in recipes. It is well-drained and doesn’t leave you with a tofu that is too watery.
The Facts on Nasoya Organic Tofu
Certifications: Nasoya Organic Tofu is Certified Organic and Non-GMO Verified.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients,Nasoya Organic Tofu is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian. Nonetheless, always read the ingredient statement and check with the company on their manufacturing processes for all varieties if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. Processes and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company / product.
For More Product Information: Visit the Nasoya website at nasoya.com.
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook. For more information and to purchase this product, see the Nasoya website, where you will also find a good recipe section (mostly dairy-free) for using tofu.