An Vy Tofu

If Hanoi people (The first is Kinh Ky) are proud of Mai Dong tofu or Mo tofu, Hung Yen (The second is Pho Hien) inhabitants are proud of An Vy tofu, the specialty of Khoai Chau land. Up to now, this delicious dish has become a trade, creating good incomes for hundreds of families here. There are around 130 families making tofu in An Vy commune. Every day, these households make approximately 20kg - 30kg of soy-beans; some households can make more, from 30kg to 50kg of soy-beans.

It is not picky to process tofu; but it is necessary to have skilled hands, meticulousity and many stages. In the period of selecting raw materials to make tofu, An Vy people have their own secrets. The only raw material is soy-bean which must be plump, because only good materials can create delicious dish. To obtain satisfactory fresh tofu, people have to work for nearly 3 hours. The most important stage in all the stages of making tofu is the stage of boiling tofu water which is filtered and mixing sour water.

Generally, making about 20 kg of tofu must be divided into 3 saucepans; the time for boiling water in each saucepan should not exceed 40 minutes. After the water of soy-beans boils, it will be poured out into terracotta pots or jars in order to mix with sour water. If the amount of sour water is much, tofu will be solid and loss of aromatic. Conversely, if the amount of sour water is little, tofu will be too soft and the surface of tofu is pitted. An Vy tofu is pressed in large wood molding to create big cover, which is neither too solid nor too soft. This is the different thing compared to tofu of other trade villages. While still hot, tofu is embedded fast through yellow saffron water; white tofu will turn into yellow tofu.

There are many ways to enjoy An Vy tofu. When tofu is still hot, you can cut into pieces to taste with salt and lemon, or you can cut into small pieces, then fry tofu and eat with shrimp paste, raw vegetables and noodles. Besides, An Vy tofu can be combined with other food such as pork and tomatoes in order to create a delicious and nutritious dish. The composition of tofu like soy-bean water and soybean curd are nutritious drinks that people still enjoy every day, especially in the sweltering weather. Also, tofu is a simple dish which is popular in almost all regions, from rural markets to city's markets, from affordable restaurants to luxurious restaurants due to its features.

The trade of making An Vy tofu has been transmitted from one generation to another generation. Although the technology of grinding soy-beans can be industrialized by using machines, the way to mix and mold tofu is still preserved because it is the identity and private flavor of An Vy tofu. It is hoped that tourists can come and enjoy An Vy tofu when visiting Hung Yen.

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