As part of a recent feature on city noodle makers, The Seattle Times went inside Northwest Tofu at 19th and Jackson to show how they make their popular tofu noodles.
From the Times:
Growing up in Guangdon province, Cantonese tofu-maker Yong Huang ate tofu. But tofu noodles? “We never heard of tofu noodles,” says his sister, Lisa Li. You likely never heard of them, either.
Unless you’re a tofu fancier like the folks crowding the inner sanctum of Northwest Tofu — a factory, retail shop and Chinese cafe in the Central District. In the cafe, those lightweight noodles are served as a simple, carrot-strewn salad and a popular takeout item, or better still, twisted into knots and floated with five-spiced tofu and mushrooms in a winter-worthy stew made by the siblings’ uncle.
Huang and Li were teens when they arrived in Seattle, joining their mother’s extended family. Now 40, Huang was in his 20s when his culinary education began. Their mother’s friend owned a small tofu factory. Knowing nothing about making tofu, they bought the place. Huang would meet his destiny in the spacious tofu shop out back — and it came with a bonus: a master Taiwanese tofu-maker. Huang worked as his apprentice for two more years. He learned fast and eventually developed his own way, his sister says.