Tofu 1~3

PREPARATION

zarudofu
“Zarudofu”, my favourite variety of tofu just filtered out in a “zaru/basket”. You just eat it with a spoon on its own. No seasoning needed!

As promised, here is the first posting about tofu.
This article concerns the home-making of it.
The next article will introduce different kinds of tofu and recipes!

Ingredients (for one large piece, one cho/丁in Japanese)

Soy beans: 2 cups (360cc)
Nigari: 2 large tablespoons
(Magnesium chloride is an important coagulant used in the preparation of tofu from soy milk. In Japan it is sold as nigari (the term is derived from the Japanese word for “bitter”), a white powder produced from seawater after the sodium chloride has been removed, and the water evaporated. In China it is called “lushui”.. Nigari or Lushui consists mostly of magnesium chloride, with some magnesium sulfate and other trace elements. It is also an ingredient in baby formula milk).
Water: 5 cups (twice and a half the volume of soy beans)

Utensils:
One large pot
One large clean cloth pouch to press tofu through
One bowl
One mixer
One thermometer
One large piece of gauze to filter water off shaped tofu
One large wooden spoon
One wooden tofu-shaper case

RECIPE:
toofu-1
1) Preparation: soak soy beans in water overnight

toofu2
2) Preparation: Mix nigari with 1 cup of water and set aside

toofu-3
3) According to its size, Pour the whole or part by part soy beans and water (1) and make paste as fine as possible. If mixer runs at an even pace without crushing beans into paste, add more water. The paste obtained is called “namago” (生呉)

toofu-4
4) Pour the bean paste into a large pot with an equal amount of water. Heat stirring all the time. The paste will come to a boil suddenly. Switch off fire. Switch on low once the paste has settled for 10 minutes and take off fire.

toofu-5
5) Pour paste into the cloth pouch and press. Right of the picture is tofu paste before pressing. Left is pressed out tofu

toofu-6
6) Solidifying (coagulating) with nigari.
Stir tofu over light fire. When the temperature has reached 75~80 degrees Celsius pour in nigari slowly and stir all the time. The solid matter will sink to the bottom and accumulate. The coagulation will be complete when liquid above tofu has become transparent. Stop the operation and let rest for 15 minutes.

toofu-7
7) Arrange the gauze inside tofu a tofu shaper case which should have small holes to let excess water run out.

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8) Cover with lid with a weight (or glass of water) of about 250 g and further press out water for 15 minutes

toofu-9
9) Delicately empty tofu in basin filled with called water and leave it there for an hour to take out excess nigari. Store in refrigerator.

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VARIETIES

zarudofu
“Zarudofu”, my favourite variety of tofu just filtered out in a “zaru/basket”. You just eat it with a spoon on its own. No seasoning needed!

This is the second article dedicated to some of the many varieties of that celebrated food, tofu. A third article is in preparation as for recipes!

tofu-kinds-10
Okinawa Tofu

Tofu comes in various degrees of firmness.
The softest are “Zaru dofu” (see pic above) and Okinawa-style tofu.

tofu-kinds-7
“Kinu Goshi Tofu”

Next come “Kinu Tofu/Kinu Goshi Tofu”/Silk-sieved tofu. It can be used for almost any recipe, although you might have to press it as it contains a lot of water.

tofu-kinds-9
“On Tofu”

“On Tofu” is similar to “Kinu tofu”, but it has been conceived as it its name indicates for being eaten hot or warm instead of cold.

tofu-kinds-6
“Momen Tofu”

“Momen Tofu”/”Wool Tofu” contains less water, is firmer and is perfect for “Nabe/Japanese Pot-au-feu”.

tofu-kinds-8
“Yaki Tofu”

“Yaki Tofu/Grilled tofu” (not to be confused with deep-fried tofu) is usually “Momen tofu” grilled to give it the “gratine” look. Tasty, it is particularly interesting when sauteed with vegetables and so forth in Japanese, Chinese, Korean or Thai food.

tofu-kinds-1
“Yawarakaage or Yawarakai Aburaage”

Tofu can be bought cooked/deep-fried in many manners.
“Yawarakaage” is tofu deep-fried into a thin sheet which can be opened as a pouch like in:

inari-tofu
“Inari”

“Inari” is “Yawarakaage”, which has been first marinated in mirin, soy Sauce and sugar. Do ask about its preparation as some companies or individuals add dashi, which is usually not vegan or vegetarian!

tofu-kinds-2
“Namaage”

“Karaage Tofu/Deep-fried Tofu” comes in many forms.
The above “Namaage/Deep-fried raw” is the most common.

tofu-kinds-3
“Kinu Namaage”

“Kinu namaage” is great for the contrast between a solid outside and vey soft inside.

tofu-kinds-4
“Ganmo” and “Kyo-Ganmo”

“Ganmo” is Tofu that has pressed to almost dry, then broken into very small lumps to which one added cooked carrots, Hijiki sweet seaweed, grated yam, a little sugar (not always), shaped into a ball and lightly deep-fried. Great, heated again with vegetables and a swet and sour sauce, or in whatever recipe you might imagine. “Kyo-Ganmo” is the smaller Kyoto-Style variety. Ganmo should be made exclusively with vegetal matter, but do ask if you are not sure!

tofu-kinds-5
“Tofu Doughnuts”

Yes, you have read it, “Tofu Doughnuts”, very popular with kids!

Other varieties:
-“Okara” is hard-pressed, almost dry tofu sold broken into very small lumps.
-“Yuba” is the “skin” appearing on top of the pan when tofu is being prepared. Very popular served cold with all kinds of ingredients.
-“Koya” is hard-pressed tofu sold marinated. Now, as it contains fish stock dashi, it is not suitable to vegans or vegetarians.
-“Kuro goma tofu” or “Shiro goma tofu” (Black and white sesame curd) are not made with soy beans but sesame, although they make for great food for vegans and vegetarians.

There are many other “fancy” varieties, but I cannot guarantee their suitability to vegans or vegetarians!

Enjoy!
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Koyadofu/Pressed Tofu Recipe

As promised here is the basic recipe to make Koyadofu/高野豆腐 or pressed tofu.

Koyadofu is extensively used in veganand vegetarian food in Japan.

It can also be deep-fried into great crunchy morsels!

INGREDIENTS:

-Tofu: 1 block/400 g (actually it is up to you!)

RECIPE:

-Place the tofu in a plate/bowl and let rest there for 10 minutes.  Throw away the water that comes out naturally. Cut the tofu into 3 “slices” across the width. You may skip that step and proceed with whole block.

-Wrap the tofu into cellophane paper and freeze the tofu inside the freezer of your refrigerator.

-Will be ready once completely frozen.
The trick is to press water out of the tofu once you have thawn it.
The tofu will have taken its colour and consistency naturally.

Recipe suggestion:

Prepare a stock soup with 1 cup of seaweed dashi/soup stock, 2 tablespoons of sugar, a little salt, 1 and a half teaspoons of mirin/sweet sake, and 1 and a half teaspoons of soy sauce.
Cook the koyadofu in it and serve once soft enough.
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