the appetizer:

Food Sake Tokyo by Yukari Sakamoto, includes excerpts like Hot Pots Nabe Ryori; Tofu Tōfu; Fermented Soybeans Nattō; and Tsukiji Market Tsukiji Shijo.

Cookbook Profile

Tofu (Tōfu)

by Yukari Sakamoto



Soy (Daizu Shokuhin)

The soybean, a rich source of protein, is central to the Japanese diet. Soy products include tōfu, soy sauce, and miso. Tōfu can also be pronounced dofu, as in Koyadōfu (freeze-dried tōfu) or yudōfu (tōfu hot pot).


Tōfu in Japan can be a revelation. A far cry from the bland blocks commonly found elsewhere. In Japan you will find a wide array of soy products including creamy tōfu, golden tōfu balls, silken layers of soymilk skin (yuba), and much more. If tōfu is served chilled (hiyayakko), it may be drizzled with soy sauce and garnished with either myōga (in the ginger family), grated ginger, bonito flakes, or wasabi. A contemporary version of chilled tōfu is served with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

Tōfu first appeared in Japan in the twelfth century, when the consumption of animal meat in Buddhist temples was forbidden. Soy products are thus an integral part of shōjin ryōri, the Zen vegetarian cuisine that originated in Kyoto. Since tōfu is composed of 90% water, it is no wonder that Kyoto—famous for its rich water sources—is known for its tōfu. The following are popular tōfu products:

Other Soy Products

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This page created September 2010