A Winter soup made from a good old style broth, and a selection of dry food from my pantry.
These blocks are hard, a dry moss like the green one you get to pick flowers in it, but in white. It’s tofu. Dried tofu.
Mount Koya, or Koyasan, is the name of a mountain, inhabited by a community of Buddhist monks, near Nara. They had the idea (or they imported it from China) to dry the tofu on freezing days, and it seems they invented the freeze-dry technique.
The dried tofu changes of textures, becomes like a sponge and it can be stored many months. It’s also very light in weight. It’s very convenient to stock tofu, and to take some when you travel.
When rehydrated, it doubles of volume, and I could cut it slices with scissors as contrarily to fresh tofu, it doesn’t crumbles. The taste is a little different too, more milky.
Here the items of my soup. There is also wakame sea weed, not on this photo.
To rehydrate dry food, cover it with lukewarm liquid. If possible, the liquid should not be salted otherwise it slows the process.
To speed it up, in the case of dry plants like fruits, mushrooms, even rice, you can add a little honey or diluted sugar.
To speed it up in case of protein-rich food like this koyadofu or beans, it’s better to have alkaline water. If yours is acidic, you can add baking soda to it.
Home-made broth. I have well broken the bones so they released their extract and made the broth very white, full of nutrients.
Then it’s very simple :
-put the dry items, and some fresh minced ginger in a pan/bowl. Cover with warmed broth, add a pinch of sugar.
-wait 20 minutes
-cut the tofu. Add salt to taste. Re-heat.
Mmm… a delicious soup full of juicy items.