It just struck me like a runaway European cheese rolling event. Edmonton has the only tofu factory in all of Alberta... and this little family run tofu factory produces all the silky tofu dessert or "dull foo fah" for the entire province. Calgary used to have one, but Ying Fat's silky smooth tofu dessert put them out of business. If you see a traditional wooden barrel full of this warm (or cold) dessert that resembles the a super silky panna cotta at a Chinese restaurant, this is where its sourced from. All Asians know about this place.. and people from Calgary drive down to pick it up warm and fresh... and soon, so will you!
Its in a slightly shady part of Chinatown (as their barred windows attest to), with dim lighting, decor that looks like they haven't renovated since the 50's and with sometimes grouchy and temperamental staff (I know, I'm totally selling this place lol!). But they know their tofu. They make a variety of pressed tofu, deep fried tofu and soy milk alongside their fabulous tofu dessert. The tofu is packaged old school - in a bag with a bit of brine - remember to change out the water everyday as they don't use preservatives. The soy milk is made traditionally - so it tastes far richer and way more beanier than the Westernized grocery store fare. Have their malted version for a tasty treat. In the past their malted soymilk was a childhood favorite.. they've added less malty goodness to the recipe since (which me and my girlfriends mourn), but its still pretty darn tasty!
The tofu dessert... in the past, they used to have a much silkier version, but since they're the only place in the entire province that still makes tofu dessert, the quality of their dessert has come down a bit than about 10years ago when they still had competition. You can get a small ice cream tub - about 1L or you can buy a 4L ice cream container's worth - in sweetened or unsweetened. I prefer the unsweetened as I make a traditional ginger syrup to lace my dessert with at home. I find though the sweetened version is easier, it draws water out of my dessert the longer the sugar bathes the tofu (remember grade 10 biology and osmosis? heehee!), making for a slightly denser dessert.. and I find the unsweetened version stays fresh for about a week while the sweetened version lasts 2-3days max (zippo preservatives here!). When you pick it up, don't be alarmed if its hot - means they just made it. I prefer mine cold, so I buy a big tub and toss it in the fridge for a few hours... after my family eats about half of it because they like it warm lol! They're cash only, so bring some or there will be no tofu for you!
As its a really delicate dessert - use a very flat scoop or spoon to "plane" out a serving, otherwise it falls apart and you get lots of small jagged tofu blobs. (I used a flat ladle which gave me even, smooth, if smaller pieces) Then, make a traditional ginger syrup:
Traditional ginger syrup for tofu dessert
1)Toss together 1 cup of water, a few slices of fresh ginger root, and either 4-5 medium pieces of rock sugar (rock sugar creates a lighter tasting syrup) or several (5-6) tablespoons of white sugar to taste into a small pot. You're making a syrup, so make it fairly sweet.
2) Boil mixture and stir! If you like only a light ginger taste, only gently heat your ginger syrup for a minute until the sugar melts, and if you prefer a strong hit of ginger, add more slices of ginger root and boil it for 5 minutes.
3) Strain or pick out the pieces of ginger root and douse your unsweetened tofu dessert (or sweetened if you want more flavor) liberally with your very own homemade traditional ginger syrup.. YOM!!!
Ying Fat Food Products Ltd
Address 10512 98 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 2N4
Phone (780) 429-1855
Hours Tues - Sun 9am-7pm
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