Tofu a healthy food that has a lifespan of more than 400 years.

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Tofu a healthy food that has a lifespan of more than 400 years.

Traditional Japanese food always seems to go hand in hand with the image of healthy food. Both in terms of simplicity, minimal cooking, emphasizing the flavor of the ingredients. and blending until it becomes the perfect umami Therefore, it is not surprising that Why has authentic Japanese cooking, or Washoku, attracted the attention of health lovers around the world? 

Washoku itself means Food that combines ingredients in solidarity To make it a meal that is full of nutrition and beautifully presented. The heart of the washoku also consists of something called “ichiju sensai,” which roughly translates to “one cup of soup โปรโมชั่น ufabet and three side dishes.” It is most often serve with one cup of rice and pickle vegetables. Which nutritionists believe These elements are the key to Japanese people’s health and longevity.

We had the opportunity to get to know the essence of Washoku cuisine with Masayo Ohno of Irodori Kitchen, who has been practicing food since he can remember. Masayo opened his house for us to break into the kitchen and cook a meal for 2 people from scratch. Whether it’s preparing dashi stock by boiling kombu seaweed and dried fish together; Preparing rice to creating a variety of menus from a single ingredient, which is “tofu”, an affordable protein. But rich in nutrients and play the role of the hero of this lunch

Tofu’s journey

Although tofu originates from China, But with the spread of Buddhism from China to Japan As a result, tofu began to infiltrate the menus of vegetarian Zen monks. Initially, tofu was brought to the shelves of the upper class as a food. Only the shogun, nobles, and high officials were allowed to eat it. It wasn’t until the middle of the Edo period, around 1603-1868, that tofu became cheaper and gradually spread to the villagers through various temples. Starting with the big city of Edo. (Old name for Tokyo), Kyoto and Osaka, etc.

The early preparation of tofu emphasized simplicity. As shown in the cookbook Tofu Hyakuchin published in 1782, this cookbook compiles over 100 ways to eat tofu. It is also consider Japan’s first tofu cookbook, but the two main methods that were most popular in the Edo period and convey a stronger connection between tofu and soy sauce than miso are Hiya-Yakko (Tofu). Cold, with a little soy sauce, and Yu-Dofu, boiled tofu with a little soy sauce. For eating in the winter

Given the long history of tofu, which has been part of Japanese cuisine for more than 400 years, Masayo has chosen to use this ingredient to tell the story of Japanese Washoku cuisine through various menus. that shows the richness of tofu production styles in Japan and the creativity of the Japanese people in bringing the main ingredients to expand into many menus. 

Various styles of Japanese tofu

Although each type of tofu differs only in the amount of soy milk. That is preserved, But we believe that many people still stand in front of the freezer confused when they see all the different tofu looks in the supermarket. Because some species look just a little different. Why are you not sure which type is suitable for cooking? Masayo gave us a concise lecture on the main types of Japanese tofu as follows.

Hard tofu or Momen tofu It is the tofu with the least amount of water. Filter out the water and soy milk (whey) with cotton. Which in Japanese is call ‘momen’, hence the name of this type of tofu. Suitable for use in all types of cooking because it is stable and does not break easily.

Soft tofu or Kinu tofu smooth tofu 

Soft like custard Some people call this type of tofu ‘fresh tofu’, Which is obtain by gently stirring soy milk. To remove the milk sediment (curd) and put it in a mold, it is not pressed like hard tofu. Therefore there is still a lot of water. It is often eaten cold, top with soy sauce, or stir-fried in ma pow tofu dishes.

Aburaage is fried tofu sheets. Light texture and full of air pockets. It is the most difficult type of tofu to make. It also requires a higher amount of soy milk to be processed than other types of tofu. Many brands often make their appearance in the shape of a square bag. Suitable for adding to miso soup. Or use it as tofu bags for stuffing rice in inari sushi dishes.

Atsuage is frie tofu. Make the outside crispy But the meat inside is still smooth and soft. Eat alone Or add it to soups, stewed dishes, or any menu that requires time to simmer.

Cold-pressed tofu, or Koya Tofu, is tofu that was invente by monks at a temple in Mount Koya.

It was born from the intention of preserving food so. That tofu can eaten for a long time. The first method was to set the tofu in the middle of the snow. This will allow the cold to suck out the moisture in the tofu. Goyatofu therefore has a light texture. Can store for about 1 year. The lost moisture causes the inside to become hollow like a sponge. Suitable for soaking in sauces or soups. Because the inner cavity allows it to fully absorb the flavor.