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Things to Eat and Drink in Japan

Japanese Food

Tōfu



Last update June 26, 2022

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Tōfu  とうふ, 豆腐

Soy Bean Curd

Too popular to remember in the global market that it’s a Japanese food item. Well, I won’t claim its inventorship since many traditional things have come from China, including Tōfu. But the word “Tōfu” does come from the Japanese “豆腐” (bean fermentation). I wouldn’t do a wiki of the food here, but let’s just say it’s a product made by coagulating soy milk filtered from ground soybeans, which is then added with a Nigari additive. Categorywise, there are broadly two types: hard and soft, namely, Momen (cotton texture) and Kinu Goshi (silky texture). The first is a popular ingredient for Nabe Ryōri, Nimono, and sauté, while the second is indispensable for Yu Dōfu, a famous Kyoto winter cuisine. With all that said, let’s enjoy the food in diverse ways. When you fancy a meat-based dish in spring, how about Sukiyaki with firm Momen Dōfu blocks? Cold Tōfu or Hiya Yakko served with Shōyu and Neghi (Welsh onion) or Myoga (a sort of ginger) garnishes will enhance your appetite in the summertime. You may want to prepare a light-fried Tōfu dish mixed with minced meat and Nira (garlic chives) leaves in autumn. When winter comes, and you crave a hot soup dish, get a Nabe soup at the supermarket and boil it with some meat, seafood, vegetables, and Tōfu! You can add it to Miso Soup, bake it as Dengaku, or grind it into Shira Ae. There are various Tōfu products, including those with an Edamame or Yuzu flavour and freeze-dried ones called “Koya Dōfu”. Even products named “Goma Dōfu” or “Tamago Dōfu” using non-bean ingredients are available on the store shelves.

japanese-food-tofu-flavour
Tōfu with an Edamae or Yuzu flavour.
japanese-food-tofu-hiyayakko
Hiya Yakko served with a sprinkle of Neghi.
japanese-food-tofu-round
Round-shaped silky-touch Tōfu.
japanese-food-tofu-yudofu
Yu Dōfu cooked with Shun Ghiku or vegetable chrysanthemum.
japanese-food-tofu-shiraae
Shira Ae or ground Tōfu mixed with other ingredients.
japanese-food-tofu-minced-meat-nira
Tōfu sauté with minced meat and Nira.
japanese-food-dengaku-tofu-food-stand
Dengaku of Tōfu available at a food stand.
japanese-food-dengaku-goma-dofu
Goma Dōfu made of starch.
japanese-food-tamago-dofu
Tamago Dōfu or coagulated egg soup.
japanese-food-tofu-flavour
Tōfu with an Edamae or Yuzu flavour.

japanese-food-tofu-hiyayakko
Hiya Yakko served with a sprinkle of Neghi.

japanese-food-tofu-round
Round-shaped silky-touch Tōfu.


japanese-food-tofu-yudofu
Yu Dōfu cooked with Shun Ghiku or vegetable chrysanthemum.

japanese-food-tofu-shiraae
Shira Ae or ground Tōfu mixed with other ingredients.

japanese-food-tofu-minced-meat-nira
Tōfu sauté with minced meat and Nira.

japanese-food-dengaku-tofu-food-stand
Dengaku of Tōfu available at a food stand.

japanese-food-dengaku-goma-dofu
Goma Dōfu made of starch.

japanese-food-tamago-dofu
Tamago Dōfu or coagulated egg soup.

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