Tofu and faux tofu

It’s compilation on the tofu topic…

Tofu is soy milk curded with nigari. But some other products not based on soy milk are called tofu because of their texture and appearance.
Tofu ? dofu ? toufu ? doufu ? The only proper spelling is 豆腐. It’s a matter of transcription. The “t” tends to become a “d” in second part of words in Japanese. And in Chinese it’s written “d” and you read “t”. And the “o” is long.

Choosing tofu :

There are huge differences of quality. It can be delicious or absolutely terrible. I wouldn’t want to eat again in this life time all the weirdly packaged tofus I have eaten in Europe and North-America. Maybe I had bad luck. Also in the US, the soy is GMO.

The second thing is you have to buy the right type.
Most Westerners don’t really understand the different types, and I’ve been there too. So maybe this can help. It’s a simplification, but start here :

3 main tofu textures :

You have Japanese tofu that is :
kinu-dofu, silky tofu
momen-dofu, cotton tofu (translated as *firm tofu* in English)
Both are soft and watery. The first is very soft like egg pudding, the second is soft like starch pudding.
Really firm and dry tofu, the one that has a texture closer to meat is popular in China. It’s uncommon in Japan, except in Okinawa, were Japanese and Chinese traditions cross their path. So here it is called 島豆腐 shima tofu, “island tofu“, and in Osaka, I have to buy in “ethnic stores”.
The 3 are made with different recipes.

Bottom line : If you like soft tofu, buy it from a Japanese maker (well, a maker making ingredients for Japanese cuisine as of course it’s not a question of nationality). If you like firm tofu, buy it from a Chinese or an Okinawan maker. Other Asian countries tend to make the firm varieties traditionally.

Gourmande’s home-made tofu :

Basic recipe :
ultra fresh torori tofu (from soy milk and nigari)

zaru-dofu (basket tofu)

Island tofu (very firm tofu)

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Gourmande’s home-made faux tofu

tamago dofu (egg tofu)

home-made sesame tofu (gomadofu)

yellow tofu or Shan tofu (from chick pea)

edamame tofu (from green soy beans)

Tofu bought in Osaka :

It’s a small sample. I can find many sorts. There are 3 tofu makers just in my street…

kinu-dofu (silky tofu)

momen-dofu (cotton tofu)

Okinawan tofu (super hard)

Yuzu tofu (citrus flavor)

koya-dofu (freeze dry tofu)

fresh yuba (sheets of tofu)

abura-age (usu-age type, fried sheets of tofu)

goma dofu (sesame flavored soy milk tofu)

goma dofu (sesame tofu, not a real tofu)

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RECIPES WITH TOFU
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dengaku (tofu skewers)

yudofu (Kyoto boiled tofu, hot pot)

mabo dofu (Sichuan style, several recipes)

age-dofu (fried tofu)

inari sushi (in abura age pockets)

champuru (Okinawan tofu with scramble egg)

chigae (Korean spicy tofu soup)

tofu steaks

u no hana (tofu fibers in tabouleh)

Tofu can also be an ingredient for desserts.

6 thoughts on “Tofu and faux tofu

  1. Pingback: In April, that was buzzed… | GOURMANDE in OSAKA

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  3. Pingback: Pressed tofu from beans, the Okinawan way (day 2) | GOURMANDE in OSAKA

  4. Pingback: Pressed tofu from beans, the Okinawan way (day 2) | GOURMANDE in OSAKA

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