Tofu : tout !

Reblog from the “tofu page”

It’s compilation on the tofu topic…I add data regularly.

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 ….

Bottom line : If you like firm tofu…

Read more (click here)

With glue-glue sauce

A surprising spicy and playful vegan lunch. That’s very simple. I was not really inspired for the tittle.

3 quick plates :
-pasta,
natto (fermented soy beans) with steamed okra mixed with mustard
-freeze-dry tofu stir-fry

You can buy Koya-dofu (blocks of dried tofu) and rehydrate them, or freeze some leftover of fresh tofu (squeeze well after defrosting). The tofu takes a sponge-like texture and a milky after-taste. I briefly pasted them in soy sauce, turmeric and sansho (Japanese Sichuan paper) and stir-fried with the beans, olive oil and garlic.
That’s really full of flavor and a set of interesting textures.

Both okra and natto have their “glue” texture. Mix and play.

Five small dishes, J-mood

An easy Japanese meal, quickly prepared. Well, you need rice. I trust the rice cooker.

This block looks like pumice. It’s hard… It’s koya-dofu. The freeze-dry tofu of the monks of Mount Koya near Nara. It’s a religious mountain town that is now to Buddhism was Disneyland is to … er, culture ? Well, a few generation ago, people living there used to follow a strict Shojin that was 99% vegan (exception of a little fish stock) and they invented many vegan dishes.
Re-hydrated, that looks like a sponge with a light milky flavor. I cooked in dashi stock, with shiitake mushrooms and carrots, plus a little soy sauce and mirin, so it absorbed all the flavors.

The dashi was then recycled in soup with a few leaves of shungiku (young chrysanthemum).

This bowl was the leftover of my yuzu-kosho kimizu. So :

Snappy beans and shrimps in kimizu-ae (kimizu sauce dressing).
There are many variations of kimizu-ae for veggies, seafood, etc. If you ask your browser you can see a few : click here.

A kaki (persimmon) for dessert. That looks like a tomato, but no comparison. What the photo doesn’t show is this kaki is super sluggish. For a tomato, that would mean it tastes of water. For a persimmon, on the contrary, it’s usually a sign it’s very sweet and syrupy inside. A real treat !

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.

Garden lunch : bento chirashi

The rose sushi goes to the park for lunch….

making the chirashi

Steamed : Okra, leek whites and a shiitake.

Raw sliced Japanse turnip.

Grilled : miso sawara mackerel , with kinome.
seikyozuke sawara

Ready to go under the Sun.

Chirashi, composing a bouquet of sushi

Bara sushi (rose sushi), chirashi covered with decorative items like the ground is covered by flowers in Spring.
The rice is also flavored. This is not the most classic version.

Classic vinegared sushi rice.

+ shrimps
(dried rehydrated in Awamori, cooked with soy sauce)

+ koya-dofu
(freeze-dry tofu, rehydrated and cooked with yukari and mirin)

= chirashi rice.

Threads of egg (see more here).

Umeboshi (pickled plum) for the center.

The path of ike-men. Noodle arrangement, udon season.

In Gourmande’s blog tittles, there is tradition of stupid puns nobody can get. I can’t help it.
Well, you have all heard about ikebana, the Japanese flower arrangement. Hana is flowers…
And men is noodle, so ikemen should be Japanese noodle arrangement… but that also means a Japanese handsome man. Homonyms.

Famous group of Osaka ikemen, the Oyaji Dancers :

Well… it’s local taste. That can’t be discussed. Just note that they make a living of their stunning looks and unique fashion sense. What about you ? Are you planning to quit your day job and be a full time top model ?

So here, it is the art of noodle arrangement. I’ll write it with a hyphen : ike-men.

Udon (wheat noodle) and Koya-dofu (freeze dry tofu).

White miso.

White sesame.

Nori seaweed.

Steamed broccoli.