Would you drink tofu? According to a recent report from Atlas Obscura researchers at the Food Science & Technology Programme at the National University of Singapore are experimenting with a tofu-based booze called "Sachi." Chua Jian-Yong, a graduate student at the university, became fascinated with tofu whey, the clear liquid that remains after the soy milk is congealed. During his undergraduate studies, Jian-Yong studied alcohol fermentation, so he decided to experiment with tofu whey as an ingredient in wine.
In a statement, Jian-Yong revealed his surprise that the result of his experiment actually tasted good. He produced a pale-colored alcoholic beverage, which he describes as embracing “fruity and floral notes,” and a hint of sweetness, with an alcohol content of 7 to 8 percent, Atlas Obscura reports.
In recent years, tofu and other plant-based nutrients have been on an upswing. More people are seeking meat alternatives that still pack the protein. By 2021, the global tofu market is expected to be worth $874 million, according to a report by Technavio. But, as Atlas Obscura points out, more meals involving tofu means more waste of tofu byproducts. The solid dregs, known as "okara," contain heaping amounts of protein and sugar, and when they're discarded, they can produce algae that obstructs waterways, resulting in diminishing oxygen levels and dead zones.
Jian-Yong, along with his professor Liu Shao-Quan, produce Sachi with a no-waste fermentation process. Instead of discarding the byproducts, they use them as ingredients. They mix the whey with sugar, acid and yeast, and ferment it for three weeks, resulting in a wine with a four-month shelf life.
Why would you drink this wine as opposed to your traditional grape-based favorite? According to CNET, tofu whey is rich in calcium and soya nutrients like prebiotics and natural antixidance, which can lead to improved bone health, heart health and have been linked to cancer preventative measures. So yes, even though it's alcoholic, it's still tofu, which means you can now get drunk while being semi-healthy.
h/t Gastro Obscura