Angry rant about the mistreatment of tofu

In accordance with the convention of giving nicknames starting with 'S' to Safeways in the D.C. area, I hereby dub the Safeway on Old Georgetown Road the "Sorry Safeway" or more elaborately, the "Sorry, we only have silken tofu today, Safeway".

I consider tofu a basic staple. I go through tofu the way some people go through milk or bread (neither of which I buy regularly). So when Safeway is all out of firm tofu, to me that's just as pathetic as if they were out of milk or bread.

Today, Martha Rose Shulman for the New York Times declared that tofu is not just for health nuts anymore. It may not be a super-food, but it is a good source of magnesium, iron, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, and of course, protein. Though it is NOT just a meat substitute. (It's actually more like cheese.) It shouldn't be put in a category with sodium laden, sorry excuses for food-like substances such as smart dogs. Tofu also has the advantages of being super easy to store safely (as opposed to meat), chop, season, cook, and digest.

A major grocery store should stock more than just a few pounds per day!

So with the rant out of the way, here's a recipe for marinated tofu that I learned from an ex-roommate:

1 part balsamic vinegar
1 part tamari
a few cloves crushed garlic (optional)
a teaspoon or so of grated ginger (optional)
a few drops of sesame oil (optional)

Chop the tofu according to your liking (smaller or thinner shapes will absorb flavor more quickly) and marinate for 1-24 hours. Then just sautee the tofu on it's own or add it to a stir fry. Serve with rice.

Photo from justinhenry.


  1. I love tofu.I even love it fairly plain and uncooked with a little bit of soy sauce dribbled over it and some green onions. Sadly my family absolutely detests it, so I rarely buy it.

  2. There must be several Asian grocery stores in Bethesda ( I know of a good one in Rockville ). I bet you they are never out of tofu, any kind!

  3. I know of one but it has limited hours. There's an AMAZING one in Gaithersburg near where I work, and I go there sometimes. So I know where I can always find tofu. But that's not the point. The point is that it's a staple and should be readily available at any respectable grocery store. I might need to reconsider "Sorry Safeway" as my main store and start going to the Giant on Arlington road.

  4. Thanks for the cooking tips. I've been trying to figure out the best way to prepare tofu for some time now. Cheers!

  5. This is a reminder of why we left Virginia! Seriously. Our Trader Joe's has about a thousand packages of tofu of various types, for $1.19/lb. A dollar nineteen! And every other grocery, large, small, chain, or co-op has the same choices, all the time.

    Your rant is completely sensible and justified and I for one agree 100%!

  6. Hear, hear! I love tofu. Also, most 'silken tofu' really isn't tofu! It's just coagulated soy milk. Silly Sorry Safeway.