JENJAROM, (Sin Chew Daily) — Dong Zen Temple visitors often get to enjoy a tofu dish or fresh soy milk made by Ven Jue Cheng, the Chief Abbess of the temple, and her team.
Ven Jue Cheng, who is also the Chief Abbess of Fo Guang Shan for Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, has been making fresh tofu and soy milk since last year.
She leads a team of volunteers and Buddhism students to make fresh soy milk and tofu once or twice a week.
At 6am, they will be grinding the soy beans, boiling them at high temperatures for several times and compress the tofu.
Each time they only make about 300 pieces.
The soy pulps, or tofu dregs are used to make spring rolls and other creative dishes without wastage.
The fresh tofu, soy milk and other products will be shared with guests who visit the temple.
"I am happy to make the tofu all by ourselves. The tofu is nice, tasty and clean," she said.
Ven Jue Cheng recalled the 16 years she spent in Brazil where it was difficult to source for even a piece of tofu.
Even if she happened to find tofu, she was unable to buy in bulk as tofu could not last if she bought too much.
She then mooted the idea of making tofu herself.
After returning to Malaysia, she did not forget the idea of learning how to make tofu.
She met a man from Melaka who had been making tofu for decades as his family made tofu for three generations.
The man taught Ven Zue Cheng how to make tofu and also contributed equipment to Dong Zeng Temple.
"I failed the first time, but I did not give up. After several attempts, I finally made it," she said.
Making tofu is not a difficult task but one needs to be patient and able to stand the heat during the process, she said.