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Tofu from Pei Wei

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've been a veggie for a few years now, and like tofu a bit - until I tried the tofu at a restaurant chain called Pei Wei, that stuff was good. Does anyone know what they do to get their tofu the way it is? It is much firmer, and denser than the stuff I buy from the Asian market.



Thanks,



h
post #2 of 18
You have to get the extra firm tofu and then fry it, make sure you get the oil really hot, stir fry to brown on all sides. Remove the tofu from the pan and stir fry the veggies, make your sauce , add sauce to pan with tofu and cooked noodles. Yum! I usually make a sauce of sesame oil, sou sauce, hot pepper sauce from the asian grocer (the kind that has the seeds in it) rice wine and rice wine vinegar and cornstarch. MMMM, stir fry....
post #3 of 18
yeah, pei wei tofu is unreal, i've never had tofu so thick and tough (but in a good way). the first time I got it, I really was afraid it was meat at first, it looks like beef strips, not typical cubes of fried tofu. I have no idea how they make it though, I suspect it has to do more with the actual tofu-making process, rather than how they cook it.
post #4 of 18
Just a little factoid: Pei Wei is a branch or subdivision of the P.F. Chang restaurant chain.
post #5 of 18
I don't like Pei Wei. I think their foods are gross.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katieq View Post

yeah, pei wei tofu is unreal, i've never had tofu so thick and tough (but in a good way). the first time I got it, I really was afraid it was meat at first...

I agree. I think their tofu is fantastic and I'm not normally big on tofu. The first time I got it, I thought it was actually chicken and went about "dissecting" it to make sure it wasn't really meat.



I especially like their Honey Seared Tofu and Vegetables. Yummmy!
post #7 of 18
I haven't been to Pei Wei since before I went vegan, and from what everyone has described it sounds like they get tofu that is processed differently. Nonetheless, you can try getting extra firm non-silken tofu, pressing much of the water out of it, drying it with paper towels, cutting it up and freezing it. This changes the texture COMPLETELY. After it's frozen, I put it in a container with some marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator until it's thawed I'm ready to fry it or bake it. Wonderful every time, completely different than if you hadn't frozen it at all.
post #8 of 18
I think most Chinese restaurants deep fry their tofu which is part of the reason it has that great texture.
post #9 of 18
many also freeze their tofu first, which allows it to absorb more flavor and have a really neat texture. Combine that with a deep fryer and I bet that would be unreal tofu.
post #10 of 18
Pei Wei uses BAKED tofu. Look for it in the refrigerated section of your local Whole Foods market. Cut into thin slices, and then add to your favorite stir-fry.



Edit: You may be able to find it in the Asian market too. I've also seen two-packs of plain (not flavored) baked tofu at Sam's Club, but that was a while ago.
post #11 of 18
Is Pei Wei a 'sit-down, waiter takes your order' type of restaurant?
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythm B Free View Post

Is Pei Wei a 'sit-down, waiter takes your order' type of restaurant?

No, you order at the cashier, pay, and they give you a number to display on your table. Beverages are self-serve also. The food is okay, but nothing special. It's a nice place to have a reasonably-priced family meal, which is why there always seem to be a lot of rambunctious kids running around.
post #13 of 18
I just ate at a Pei Wei for the first time yesterday. I was delighted when told that everything marked with a leaf on the menu was vegan. The spring rolls were a fried treat.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katieq View Post

yeah, pei wei tofu is unreal, i've never had tofu so thick and tough (but in a good way). the first time I got it, I really was afraid it was meat at first, it looks like beef strips, not typical cubes of fried tofu. I have no idea how they make it though, I suspect it has to do more with the actual tofu-making process, rather than how they cook it.











i work there, and i know exactly how they make it haha
post #15 of 18
Okay, I got obsessed and bought about six different kinds of tofu from local Asian markets trying to duplicate Pei Wei's tofu which is the consistency of a mushroom as opposed to a congealed scrambled egg like you buy at Health Food stores. I made Pad Thai last night and have found a tofu that is as close to Pei Wei's tofu as I can find. It's Baked Soy Bean Cake (it's brown- just like Pei Wei's) and is manufactured by Visoy Food Inc., a Los Angeles based company. I found it at the Cao Nguyen Asian Market in Oklahoma City, but am sure they distribute it all over the country. I have the other tofu condenders in my freezer, but the tofu by Visoy was the right consistency fresh from the refrigerator.
post #16 of 18
Hm, another Oklahoman?



I'm so psyched, I just found out the other day we're getting a Pei Wei here in Norman.
post #17 of 18
please read this before buying products from Visoy.



http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/ucm289732.htm
post #18 of 18

I realize this is an old thread... but I feel, in the search engine someone may come across it - as I did searching for the answer to pei wei's delicious, well kept "secret" about their tofu.

I have tried to replicate their own tofu HUNDREDS of times, each attempt still delish, but a failure.

I saw the reply of the individual that said, "i work at pei wei and i know how they make it" but didn't share the "secret tofu recipe"... you're cool.

 

i worked at pei wei when it first opened in a few southern stores. i didn't find out what type they had then, until the frustration arose the other night when i craved it.

 

first of all, pei wei is a delicious dine! every dish is unique in it's own and mouth watering. their tofu, if you are familiar, is a harder texture than even the "firmest" tofu you can buy. i thought the "baked tofu" was the key to their dishes, but it was not.

i read about freezing tofu, which i have began to try this evening - so we will see the results on that.

however, after a long extended search, i went last night and simply asked. they've told me in the past, it was just regular tofu and they didn't know. so i told them i had an allergy and needed to know.

 

it's a baked bean curd. it comes to them prepackaged, almost dried sealed. they do not marinate it or add anything except whatever dish sauce you choose. i am guessing the distributor must bake the bean curd in soy sauce/marinades before shipping to give it the "brown color"..

 

next time i am at an Asian market, i am going to search for this bean curd to see if i can have a little bit of pei wei at my own home cooked meals.

 

now the secret is out! let me know if you all have any luck!

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