15 September 2005

Taho !

Here in Manila, when people hear the word "taho," what comes to mind is a delicious snack made out of soya beans. Taho is not Lake Tahoe, as what many foreigners might know, which is one of the largest lakes in the US, and where ski enthusiasts go to during ski season. No, Lake Tahoe has an "-e" in the end, while our tasty taho snack has none. Both are somewhat similarly pronounced, though.

I suspect there's a ready taho available in any Chinatown of any major city in the world. All one has to do is ask around where it is available.

Now, why am I discussing taho?

Because in addition to soya's many health benefits, there is a recent study saying that it can now cut the risk of bone fracture, especially in women after menopause and in danger of having osteoporosis.
Eating soy-based foods lessens the progress of osteoporosis in women after menopause, when hormonal changes can rapidly thin bones and increase the risk of fractures, researchers said on Monday.

Bone loss is particularly quick in women during the five to seven years after menopause when a drop-off in estrogen levels may cause them to lose up to 5 percent of bone mass yearly, the report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine said.

Other ways for menopausal women to retard bone loss suggested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are to exercise more and increase consumption of calcium and vitamin D. [Reuters Health, Sept 12 2005]

Perhaps you could also try "tokwa" or "tofu," or "to-kua," as the Chinese call it here, or simply bean curd to most of us. Then there's also lots of soya milk drinks available in the market today.

Happy eating! Strive to be healthy always.

20 reactions:

eye said...

hey this is great info, thanks doc! i am a certified taho lover, every weekend i prepare my big mug and wait for my suking magtataho to pass by our house :) P15 lang yun, bondat na bondat na ko hehe!

Rygel said...

how come healthy food are not always as good tasting! whaaaa!

rolly said...

Finally, something I can eat without any consequence at all. Or is it? I don't know anymore. Sa dami ng bawal sakin, I don't know if there's anything left pa. haha

Dr. Emer said...

Eye: I go for P20. Kulang yung P15 sa akin, hehehe. :)

Rygel: I think taho tastes great. :)

Tito Rolly: For you, you have to ask the taho vendor to remove the arnibal or sugar syrup. Yes, I know it's a bit sad. Pero, that's how it is. :)

Ruth said...

all of this boils down to the phytoestrogens, which makes soya good for hormone replacement therapy among menopausal women, right?

hm... what i'm interestd to know is if there's a study of the effect of soy on menopausal temperaments? haha, i can imagine the husbands clamoring for that!

may said...

doc emer. i want to go home! there's some cold taho looking food at one of the oriental stores here, but it takes forever to go there. i want my taho steaming, from a sweaty magtataho. it is exciting to line up with little kids who just got up from bed, eyes half open, but mouth watering while that tiny sandok is filling up the plastic cup. nakakahomesick na talaga!

sachiko said...

i read a similar thing somewhere and i think ruth posted about this in one of the berks threads.kaya, i see to it that there is always soya juice in the ref. good thing we have varied flavors available here. cocoa,peach,vanilla flavored soya juice but i drink the plain type,sarap! and of course we eat tofu regularly,a must in miso soup,an everyday soup here.

Anonymous said...

bosing doc - ako po mahilig sa soy, pati nga cream ko sa kape e soymilk, tsaka pirmi kong request sa nanay e chicken with tofu. pero dito po sa west, yucky ang anything soy. minsan nagdala ako sa opis potluck ng marinated tofu, alang kumain, hu-hu-hu. sabagay, what's good for me is never based on their tastes. pero isang crucial tanong: totoo po ba na isa sa ingredients ng ating taho e yung isang component sa paggawa ng chalk? di ako naniniwala dito, but then, what do i know? salamt bos.
- cbs

Anonymous said...

fyi, ang nagsyete nga pala saken e isang empleyadao ng fda nung yr. kopongkopong. ano kaya't totoo ang syete, tas sabihin nila sa lahat ng kumain ng taho na magpupu sa blackboard. josme, pahirap ng pahirap ang buhay.
- cbs

Dr. Emer said...

Ruth: Phytoestrogens, yes, those seem to be the magic ingredients of soya. Your study proposal sounds very interesting, too. I hope someone looks into that and start a scientific research. Imagine how many irritative post-menopausal housewives can benefit from this, should the hypothesis be proven true.

May: You said it! That's how it is here, every morning. I'm amazed and delighted that you remember even the finer details about buying "taho." Come home! It's my treat. Kahit araw-araw pa kung gusto mo. :)

Sachiko: Wow! You're blessed to have so many varieties to choose from. :)

Anonymous-CBS: Hello there. Thanks for this very good question.
I have not come across that allegation of yours, be it rumor or fact. Chalk --- the pure form, I think, is CaCO3 or calcium carbonate. The chalk sticks we grew up with (and probably the one you're referring to) in classrooms here, however, are made from gypsum, and is a dihydrate salt, CaSO4-2H2O (Ruth, help me explain!), and is also used in the manufacture of toothpastes, cement, orthopedic casts, and yes --- TOFU or TAHO. Are you familiar with the manufacture of cheese from milk? The same principle is applied when making TAHO from soymilk.

Yes, calcium sulfate is used as a coagulant of soymilk to curdle it and make TAHO. This is how the Chinese does it. The Japanese, on the other hand, use magnesium chloride in making their TAHO, and call it "nigari." It is finer and more tender in texture than the Chinese version. You can ask friend Sachiko about this. These compounds are mixed in water first, then slowly added to the soymilk to make it curd to the desired texture. As far as I know, it would take a big amount to produce an intoxication. My verdict is that TAHO is a safe food product, and in our case here, the use of calcium sulfate can even be considered a plus factor, as it makes the final product richer in calcium. Again, a probable anti-osteoporotic factor.

Enjoy your TAHO. :)

loryces said...

gosh i miss taho. :( di pa ko nakakapunta sa mga pinoy stores na may taho eh.

Toni said...

It's been awhile since I've had taho. I drink soy milk naman pero iba pa rin ang taho experience!

Pero question, Dr. E, is there such a thing about having too much soy in your system? Will that be bad? I try drinking a glass of soy milk a day -- is that enough?

ruth said...

right on the dot, doc!

to your anonymous reader: i think eating soy-based products is an acquired taste and because of its health-beneficial claims, soy is also gaining popularity in the west. at least here in my part of the western world.

as for the relation to chalk, i think it's a myth. your FDA official probably referred to an anomalous production (an exception rather than the rule, i hope), in the same way that SOME buko juice vendors would put formalin in their products to prolong shelf-life.

doc, am just not sure about the calcium sulfate as a source of calcium. thing is, not all calcium in Ca-containing compounds are absorbed by the body, right? i suspect mineral Ca is not easily absorbed, but i could be wrong.

celia kusinera said...

I agree with Ruth that eating soy based products is an acquired taste. Lately lang ako nag-e-enjoy nito kasi I married into a tokwa/taho loving family. ;)

Btw, Doc, the taho around here I think is called silken tofu. At least that's what I see in our local Chinese grocery.

Dr. Emer said...

Loryces: Go to Chicago, and take CTA's bus #21 -Cermak. I think that will take you to Chinatown there. There's lots of taho there. Or you can probably go to any Asian or Pinoy store. :)

Toni: A glass of soy milk a day is ok. "Too much soy" is probably all 3 meals and snacks with soy everyday. :)

Ruth: Thanks for the help. No, you're not wrong. You're correct that mineral calcium requires a host of other factors (sunlight, Vit D at 200-400 IU, right?) to get absorbed by the body. Elemental calcium is best. In calcium supplements, for example, elemental calcium combined with citrate is better absorbed than when it is combined with carbonate. In taho, it is at least good to know that it is available. As for the other factors, well, we simply have to work for it.

Celia: Yes, yes! Sachiko will vouch for this, too. I think silken tofu is creamier and more custard-like. In Japan, silken tofu is eaten with soy sauce (kikkoman?), chopped scallions, or decorated with flower-cut carrots. :)

bayi said...

I have been eating "taho" since young and I am still enjoying it on a regular basis. If it is the soft while stuff in some syrup, we call it "tahohua" in Malaysia. I eat very little of this now because of the syrup. In Malaysia, taho refers to the soya pieces we use to cook dishes or eat raw with fried onion and oyster sauce. Tokwa is the harder version, eaten cooked with other types of vegetables or meat.

What are the blackish balls in the photo? This combination is interesting and looks tempting.

Dr. Emer said...

Those blackish balls are sago, Bayi, or small tapioca balls. They make the taho even more tasty! =)

bayi said...

It is interesting. I must try eating taho with sago and tapioca balls one day (during one of the days when I eat some carbohydrates).

In Malaysia we eat taho with brown coconut-flavored syrup.

Alternatively we add taho to the soya drink, either hot or cold, with the normal syrup. This is delicious.

I usually eat the taho and leave the syrup behind. Too sweet for me.

ina said...

Gusto ko ng taho! I can get hot taho at Chowking here in LA, but it's not the same as "authentic" taho from our neighborhood taho man.

don said...

don mejia says:

now you can buy in Quezon City Philippines Taho making machine set ( Bean grinder MH230 and boilerMH203) Simply text or call +63920-9241801 Don
or e-mail at avcdon@yahoo.com

Cost and Income: Feasibility Study (Sept/2007)
Output-60 liters
6kls soy beans @ P35kl 210.00
4.5 kls sugar @p40kilo 180.00
240 pcs.Disposable
@0.60 each 151.20
Gas & others 50.00
Manpower 250.00
investment total 841.20

63L = 63ml250ml
= 250 cups of 250ml.
selling cup P10cup
Gross income 2,520.00
Net Income 1,678.80

No sago/tapioca in the sample computation. Subject to change in price of soy beans and sugar.