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Smooth, homemade tofu helps Maine restaurant keep its edge

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    Saskia Poulos, kitchen manager at Tao Yuan in Brunswick, checks her timer while waiting for soy milk to thicken for homemade tofu. The restaurant makes its own soy milk, which it uses to make tofu. "Everything is better when you do it yourself," says chef/owner Cara Stadler. Staff photos by Jill Brady

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    Saskia Poulos of Tao Yuan shows the difference between soaked soybeans, on the left, and dry beans on the right, before making soy milk.

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    Non-GMO soybeans blend smooth with their soaking water in the process of making soy milk for tofu at Tao Yuan.

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    Poulos stirs the simmering homemade soy milk.

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    A coagulant separates the soy milk into curds and whey, which Poulos ladles into a lined bamboo tofu mold.

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    Poulos presses on the bamboo mold to extract water from the tofu.

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    Homemade tofu at Tao Yuan.

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    Owner/head chef Cara Stadler garnishes mapo doufu, made with from-scratch tofu, at Tao Yuan.

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    Mapo doufu, which contains tofu, and yangyou ma doufu, a sort of Chinese hummus that is made with a soy byproduct of the tofu-making process, are served with steamed rice and flatbread triangles at Tao Yuan.

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