Vegan and Vegetarian Japanese Cuisine: Tofu (2)-Varieties


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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“Momen Tofu”

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

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“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!

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“Namaage”

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

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“Kinu Namaage”

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

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“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!

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“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!

9 thoughts on “Vegan and Vegetarian Japanese Cuisine: Tofu (2)-Varieties”

  1. While in Akigawa, Japan I had these awesome tofu donuts. Ever since returning, every couple of months I Google tofu donut recipe to no avail. If anyone has one, even if it means making tofu from scratch first, I would love to have it. These donuts were the best I ever had.

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    1. Dear Dawn!
      Greetings!
      I’m going to post a recipe on tofu donuts this morning (Japanese time).
      I found out that shops here use flour and so on.
      The recipe I will introduce will be non-gluten, non-flower, vegetarian and vegan.
      I will add the home-made tofu recipe to it.
      It could become a business idea for you!
      Cheers,
      Robert-Gilles

      Like

  2. Unfortunately – maybe I am eating in the wrong places – I have never eaten tofu that I’ve liked. I think it’s a texture thing – the wetness. The fried tofu looks like it would be better, more like the texture of paneer.

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  3. Hi Robert,

    I have been waiting for this since you told me that you are writing an article on tofu. Thanks so much. My family loves tofu. Will be making tofu dishes for the coming Chinese New Year. Tofu Doughnut..hmmm wish I have the recipe :)))

    Regards,
    Elin

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    1. Dear Elin, Laquet and Shavediceundays!
      Greetings!
      Tofu Doughnuts seesm t be a discovery for many. Actually it’s pretty common in Japan!
      Tof comes in many textures, and it can be a problem to choose.
      Personally, I like it very firm!
      Cheers,
      Rpobert-Gilles

      Like

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