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<P>SOY <br>

by Kristin Yamaguchi</P>











<P>The soybean, known as daizu (great bean) in Japan, is an incredible legume. Native to the Far East, the soybean is one of the most nutritious and versatile foods around. In Japan it is eaten every single day, whether it be in bean form, either dried or fresh (edamame), fermented as natto, as soy sauce, miso or of course a tofu product. It would be impossible to discuss all the aspects of the soybean in just one class, so this time we will focus on tofu, or bean curd, learning how to make it step by step. We will also look at what to do with the by-products of the process and with the finished product.

<P>Though it had already been cultivated in China for 3000 years, the first mention of soybeans in Japan is in the Kojiki (Records of Ancient Matters), completed in 712 AD. During the Nara Period (710 – 794 AD), tofu was brought from China by Buddhist priests. Though tofu remained a staple of the monk’s vegetarian cuisine, it took a little longer for it to gain popularity with the rest of the population. It started with the samurai and the nobility class and finally made its way to the rest of the population during the Edo period (1603 – 1867).

<P>Tofu making is a fairly simple task. The beans are soaked then crushed with the addition of a little water. This liquid is then boiled and strained, a process that separates the soy milk from the pulp. The soy milk is heated again, then a coagulant, nigari (a sea-salt derived compound rich in magnesium chloride), calcium sulfate, or other agent, is added and tofu is the resulting product.


<P>Fresh bean curd is a very perishable product and should be eaten as soon as possible after making. Some types keep longer than others but try to use it in less than 5 days. It will stay fresher if you change the water every day. The more water you keep it packed in the better.

<P>There are 3 basic types of fresh tofu that are made in molds: momen, kinu-goshi and yaki-dofu. Momen means cotton in Japanese and refers to the cloth that is spread in the tofu mold. This type of tofu is weighted down while draining and the cloth leaves a very noticeable impression and is often called cotton tofu in English. A firm tofu that holds its shape well, momen is often used in recipes like stirfries, deep frying and hot pots.

<P>Kinu-goshi is often referred to as silken tofu, not because there is any silk used in the process of making it, but rather because of its silk like texture. It is often made with a slightly thicker soy milk and it is left to drain naturally in the molds with neither weights nor cloth. It is very fragile and best used in dishes that don’t require much handling like hiya yakko (cold tofu), salads and soups.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6976.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Kinu-goshi on the left and momen on the right.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>Yaki-dofu, is a firm tofu that has been grilled, and you may see it called grilled or seared tofu. It is packed in water and used most commonly in nabe or one-pot dishes and is the tofu you will usually find in your sukiyaki pot. It can be made at home by pressing a block of momen tofu and grilling it on both sides over a very high heat.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i3157.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Yaki-dofu</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>The fresh but "mold-less" variety of tofu consists of yose-dofu, oboro-dofu, zaru-dofu and juuten-dofu. Yose-dofu is made in the same way as regular fresh tofu except that the very loose curds are scooped into the container it will be sold in rather than being molded. Oboro-dofu is almost the same as yose-dofu but has a crumbly texture wheareas yose-dofu is very smooth and creamy.

<P>Yosedofu and oboro-dofu are also a popular dishes to make at the table and are eaten warm out of the bowl they are made in. It is probably the most fragile of all the types of tofu and is normally eaten quite simply with a dash of soy and some wasabi or served cold in the hiya yakko style with a variety of toppings. Zaru-dofu is similar except it is scooped into a zaru (a bamboo colander) and left to drain. It is most often eaten cold in the same way as yose-dofu.

<P>The method for making Juuten-dofu tofu was discovered after the war and has a much longer shelf life than regular tofu. The tofu and coagulant are poured into tubes or boxes which are then heated so that the tofu takes on the shape of the tube or box. It can be hard to find these on shelves in Japan nowadays though.

<P>Fried tofu products are very popular. Atsu-age or nama-age are thick blocks of tofu that have been deep fried. They are often served steak like by being first seared in a fry pan then topped with condiments such as grated daikon, scallions and a ponzu or soy sauce dressing. They can also be used in stir-fries, simmered dishes and soups.

<P>Aburage or usu-age, often referred to as tofu pockets, are thin slices of deep fried tofu. This tofu can be split open like a pocket and is often stuffed with various ingredients then simmered or fried. It is also used in inari-zushi where it is seasoned and then filled with sushi rice. They can also be grilled or added to simmered dishes, soups or rice dishes.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7090.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Atsu-age</CENTER></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6965.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Aburage</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>Both of these fried tofus can be quite oily, so boiling water is poured over them and then blotted with paper towels to get rid of the excess oiliness. Another common fried tofu product that is easy to make at home but seems to be purchased more often nowadays is ganmodoki. This is a mixture of crumbled tofu, vegetables and mountain yam (yama-imo) formed into patties or balls and deep fried. They can be eaten with grated daikon or other condiments and you will also see them in simmered dishes or oden (a type of hot pot).

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7097.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7098.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Atsu-age made in the style of ganmodoki</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7099.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>You can see the ganmodoki are very light and filled with holes while the atsu-age is quite firm.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>Finally there are what I am going to call “flavored” tofus. These are not actually tofu since they are normally made with something other than daizu (soybean) or a mixture of daizu and something else. Other beans that can be used include black beans and fresh edamame. T here is also seame tofu (made with either black or white sesame seeds) as well as some more unusual ones like walnut tofu or kinako (powdered roasted soybeans). Tamago-dofu is made out of eggs.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6971.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Black sesame tofu</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>In addtion, there are the by-products of tofu making or products that can be made with the tofu making products, okara, soy milk and yuba. Okara, also known as unohana is the tofu pulp or lees, it is very high in protein and is used in simmered dishes, salads, soups, corroke (deep fried croquettes), hamburger patties and baked goods. Okara does not keep well and should be used as soon as possible, preferably the day it was made but definitely with in two days. Soy milk, besides being drunk straight, can be used in a variety of dishes from hot pots and soups to desserts.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6968.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Some of the soy milk brands found in Japan.<BR> The one on the left is for making tofu (as well as drinking and cooking)<BR> and the one on the right is for drinking or general cooking uses.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>Yuba is the tofu “skin” that is often sold in its dried form as it doesn’t keep well. In its fresh form it is most often treated simply with some soy sauce and wasabi or ponzu, the dried form is very versatile and shows up in soups and hot pots as well as simmered and fried dishes. This is made from skimming of the skin of the soy milk before the coagulant is added.

<P>One last type of tofu is called koya-dofu (or kori-dofu). This is freeze dried and was created by monks living on Mt. Koya. The tofu is dehydrated by freezing and becomes almost as light as a feather. It needs to be reconstituted in hot water before using. You can make a similar type of frozen tofu at home by either placing the whole tub of tofu into the freezer or rem oving it from the water and wrapping the tofu in plastic wrap before freezing, I prefer the latter.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6962.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TD><TR><TD><CENTER>Store bought koya-dofu</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>I have also found some interesting products in the markets over the years.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6969.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Just recently I found a cotton tofu that the package says<BR> it needs no draining, you can use it straight out of the pack.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6970.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>This Tofu product somen (somen is a type of Japanese thin noodles)<BR> even comes with a sauce, a sesame sauce in this case.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>


<P>Most tofu needs to be drained of the water it is packed in before using, and some recipes require that the tofu be pressed before cooking. There are several methods for draining. You can place the block of tofu onto a Japanese style bamboo colander and let it drain naturally. This can take a couple hours and can be placed into the refrigerator if you plan to serve the tofu cold. If you are more pressed for time you can wrap the tofu in paper towels and place it onto a dish, if are in even more of a hurry you can place the block on top of a couple layers of paper towels on a dish and microwave it for about 1 minute.

<P>There is a similar method of simmering the tofu (cut into smaller pieces first) in water but this takes more time than the microwave and I hate to pull out an extra pan. If the tofu is going to be crumbled, you can wrap it in a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Kinu-goshi (silken) tofu is often fine with out any proper draining, though sometimes I like to wrap it in paper towels for a couple minutes so the extra water doesn’t dilute the sauce/dressing. 

<P>Pressing the tofu rids it of even more water, making it less likely to crumble. There is basically only one technique for pressing tofu and that is putting a something on top of it to press it down. The rest is up to you and the recipe you want to use it for. I like to wrap my tofu in paper towels before pressing. To avoid wasting any dishes, I place the wrapped tofu onto a cutting board and then place a can (of soup/beans/the likes) inside the tub the tofu came in and place than on top of the tofu. You can press the tofu for any length of time, depending on what you will use it for. Typically 30 minutes to an hour is sufficient, but up to a couple hours will be required for some deep fried dishes.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6975.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Pressing tofu</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>



<P>You only need 3 ingredients to make tofu: daizu (soybeans), water and nigari (bittern). Therefore you want to use the best that you can find. Look for newer soybeans and try to use mineral water rather than tap water. Nigari seems to be preferred in Japan over the other coagulants and tubs of tofu are often marked as 100% nigari tofu. 

<P>Nigari can vary in its strength so you may need to adjust the amounts or amount of water it is diluted in before using. The powder type should always be diluted. Daizu need a very long soaking period so you need to plan at least a day in advance.


<P>300 grams (10 ounces) daizu (about 2 cups)<BR>


1 tablespoon nigari (either powder or liquid type)<BR>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7094.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Nigari</CENTER>


<P>1. Soak the daizu in about 6 cups of water (about 3 times the amount of water to beans) for between 8 to 16 hours depending on the temperature. The colder the water, the longer the soaking time required.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7087.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Before soaking</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7088.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>After soaking</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7089.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>The difference in the size</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>2. Drain the daizu and puree them in a blender or food processor with an equal amount of water until they make a fairly smooth liquid, a good 3 minutes. It will take about 2 batches in a food processor and 3 in a blender.

<P>3. Pour the mixture into a 4 liter (4 quart) or larger heavy bottomed pan and add 5 cups of water, turn on the heat to medium and slowly bring to a boil.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7091.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>There will be a lot of foam on the top. Skim this off with a ladle. This can burn easily so stir it gently with a wooden spoon in large circular motions scraping from the bottom.

<P>4. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat to low and very gently simmer for about 10 minutes. Try not to disturb it too much during this time. Occasionally give it a gentle stir to make sure it isn’t burning on the bottom and skim if needed. It should turn a slightly yellow color and have a sweet taste.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7092.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>5. Very carefully pour the mixture into a wet cheesecloth lined colander set over a bowl. The soy milk will go into the bowl while the okara (lees) will be left in the colander. Let it cool slightly and try to squeeze as much milk as you can from the cloth wrapped bundle. The okara can be set aside for other uses.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7093.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>6. Wash out the pan and pour the soy milk into it. Set the pan over a medium heat and test it with a thermometer to see when it reaches 70 to 75 degrees C (160 degrees F). At this point, turn the heat to low and mix the nigari with 100ml (a little less than 1/2 cup) of water. Add the nigari slowly, pouring it down the back of the spoon and then mixing very gently. Do this about three times until you have used up all of the nigari.

<P>7. Turn off the heat, place a lid on the pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes

<P>8. You have just made tofu! You can eat it warm straight out of the pan in a yosedofu style or you can pour it into a tofu mold to make a momen (cotton) tofu. It can also be poured into a zaru (bamboo colander) or a regular colander lined with cheesecloth. If you want to make a molded tofu but don’t have a mold, you can improvise with either a small bamboo steamer or a plastic container (like tofu comes in) with some holes punched out for draining. Molded tofu needs to be pressed (with some kind of weight) for about 10 minutes and then placed in water until needed.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7095.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>This time, I poured it into small individual sized zaru and let it drain on a cookie rack in my sink. I then placed them in the refrigerator to be served in the hiya yakko (“cold” tofu) style.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7096.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>



<P>Making tofu from soy milk is much easier than making it from daizu but can be just as good if you have good soy milk. There are some important things to consider though. It must be whole soy milk with a protein content of 10% or higher, the higher the better. The ingredient list should read soy beans only, there should be no other ingredients added. When making tofu from soy milk you usually use more nigari, and since it can vary in strength you may need to adjust amounts and keep in mind that some stronger nigari need to be diluted. I use about 1 Tablespoon to every cup (250ml). You can make it the same as described above, just starting from when the soy milk is added, but for some reason it turns out better if you use the version below.


<P>Soy milk<BR>


<P>1. Mix the cold soy milk and nigari together in a bowl.

<P>2. Pour the mixture into cups or ramekins and set on a rack in a steamer over high heat for 5 minutes. Then lower the heat to low and steam for 10 more minutes.

<P>3. Serve, these are best eaten warm

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6964.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>They look like this</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>You can also do a similar version in a microwave. Cover the cup with some wrap then place one in the microwave and heat it for about 1 minute (600W). Let it rest for a couple minutes before eating and don’t heat more than one at a time.


<P>I have tried to pick a variety of recipes that are quite simple, could be varied easily depending on what is in your house and are well liked even by those who insist they don’t eat tofu. I also tried to vary the type of recipes so you have main dishes, side dishes, salads as well as desserts.

<P>Most tofu in Japan is sold in packs of 300 grams. Though there are smaller larger sizes, that is the most common size and the one I have used in the following recipes. All of the measurements of the cups are in US sizes, 1 cup equaling 250ml. The type of tofu I recommend for each particular recipe is in parantheses next to the name.

<P>HIYA YAKKO "cold" tofu (momen, kinu-goshi, zaru-dofu)

<P>This dish doesn’t really need a recipe and therefore I am not really going to give you one. Hiya yakko can be made with any of the fresh tofus (except yaki-dofu) and it is simply a dish of cold tofu served with a topping. The toppings can vary depending on the season, your taste, or what is in your refrigerator. The toppings can be cold or hot, Japanese, other Asian or western ingredients. There could be one or there could be ten.

<P>The most simple is a block of cold tofu, either the silken or cotton type, with some slivered scallions, a large pinch of katsuo-bushi, a little grated ginger and a drizzle of soy sauce. You can add to this with a squeeze of citrus, some shredded shiso, umeboshi paste or sesame seeds. You can top it with various tsukemono (Japanese pickles) or even kimchi, as well as sautéed vegetables or meats. You could add various seaweeds, dressings made out of miso or sesame paste or sprinkle it with salt instead of soy sauce. One of my favorites is a topping made of blanched and minced okra mixed with some grated ginger and just a drizzle of soy sauce on top.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i2040.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>This variation is made with some fresh chopped tomatoes and a sprinkling of salt instead of soy sauce.</TABLE>

<P><b>SHIRA-AE</b>: vegetables with a tofu dressing (kinu-goshi)

<P>This is a very simplified version of shira-ae. Sesame paste should be available in most Asian stores, either Chinese versions or the Japanese neri-goma work well, but do not substitute tahini or other non-roasted types. Though this can be made with just one vegetable, it is more common to see about three. Most vegetables are blanched before adding to the dressing or reconstituted if dried. This is good with spinach, chrysanthemum leaves and flowers, broccoli rabe, shiitake, mitsuba, ginko nuts, aburage, edamame, konnyaku, various types of seaweed, etc. The following recipe can serve 4 to 8 depending on the serving size and the number and amount of vegetables used and can easily be halved.


<P>300 grams of silken (kinu-goshi) tofu<BR>

3 Tablespoons roasted sesame paste<BR>

2 Tablespoons of mirin<BR>

1 to 2 Tablespoons sugar<BR>

salt to taste<BR>

vegetables of choice, prepared as directed above.<BR>

The vegetables I chose for this day were daikon greens, carrots and white

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6972.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Konnyaku</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6973.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>blanched and cut<CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>1. Wrap the tofu in a paper towel and microwave for about 1 minute then set aside until cool. If you are more pressed for time, place it into a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.

<P>2. Place all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix well. I make this in a Japanese suribachi, but a bowl can work just as well.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6974.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6977.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>3. Add to vegetables of choice and season to taste.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6978.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><b>IRI-DOFU</b>: simmered tofu with various vegetables (momen)

<P>This is a wonderful recipe that can easily be varied by what you have on hand. I always try to put something green (snow peas, sugar snap peas, green beans or peas), something orange (usually carrots, but on occasion chicken) and something brown ( fresh or dried shiitake, cloud ears, konnyaku). Vegetables that need a longer cooking time should be blanched before adding and dried vegetables should be reconstituted before cooking.


<P>Serves 4 to 6

<P>500 to 600 grams momen tofu <BR>

vegetables of choice (my favorites are green beans, carrots and dried shiitake)<BR>

1/2 cup dashi<BR>

3 Tablespoons sugar<BR>

2 Tablespoons soy sauce<BR>

salt to taste<BR>

2 eggs, lightly beaten<BR>

<P>This version uses frozen green beans ( no need to blanch), grated carrots (this kind of cut means they don’t need blanching) and shiitake (reconstituted dried ones).

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7218.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>1. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat. Crumble the tofu between your fingers and add to the pan. The tofu should start to give off water. I don’t drain the tofu for the recipe, I let the heat of the pan evaporate it which allows me to get away with using no oil.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7217.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>2. When there is just a little water left, add the vegetables (they should be prepared in necessary and cut into small pieces) and stir fry until the water is almost gone.

<P>3. Add the dashi, sugar, soy sauce and salt to taste, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the the sauce is almost gone.

<P>4. Add the beaten eggs and stir gently until the eggs are just set, remove from the heat and serve.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7215.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>This is also great when topped with a handful of katsuo-bushi (bonito flakes).

<P><b>GRILLED ABURAGE</b>: grilled tofu pockets (aburage)

<P>This will serve one person or more. You can use as many aburage as you want but I usually plan for one per person as part of a larger meal. I often serve this for breakfast with a bowl of natto gohan (hot rice topped with fermented beans).



Condiments of your choice, such as<BR>

Grated daikon<BR>

Grated ginger<BR>

Slivered scallions<BR>

Soy sauce<BR>


Tsuyu (seasoned soy sauce)<BR>

<P>1. Heat a fry pan over high heat (alternatively these can be grilled under the broiler, in a griddle pan or over a flame) and then add the aburage in a single layer. This is one time when you do not need to remove the oil with boiling water.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6966.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>2. Cook on both sides until they start to brown and become crisp, remove to a cutting board and cut them into slices. Top with the condiments of choice and eat as soon as possible or it will soak up too much of the sauce.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i6967.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>This version is made with scallions, ginger and tsuyu.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><b>UNOHANA</b>: okara simmered with vegetables (okara)

<P>As you read above, unohana is another name for okara, but it is also the name of one of the most popular dishes using okara. Like shira-ae and iri-dofu this can be made with what you happen to have on hand. As with the other recipes, the vegetables need to be blanched or reconstituted before cooking.


<P>8 side dish servings

<P>300 to 400 grams okara<br>

vegetables (popular choices include various greens, carrot, burdock root, scallions, shiitake, even aburage, konnyaku or ground meats)<br>

2 Tablespoons sugar<br>

2 Tablespoons soy sauce<br>

2 Tablspoons sake<br>

1 1/2 cups dashi<br>


1 1/2 T oil<br>

<P>1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add the okara and prepared vegetables and sauté until just wilted.

<P>2. Add the sugar, soy sauce, sake, dashi and salt to taste and simmer until the liquid evaporates.

<P>3. Season to taste. This is best served either at room temperature or cold.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7139.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>This version is made with spinach, carrots, shiitake and scallions.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><b>KOYA-DOFU NO NIMONO</b>: simmered freeze dried tofu (koya-dofu)

<P>This is a wonderful simple tasting dish. Any vegetables that take well to simmering can be added. I like carrots, green beans, shiitake and wakame. Various greens and snow peas are good as well, but should be blanched first and added at the end. This simmering liquid can also be used with ganmo-doki.


<P>Serves 4

<P>4 to 6 squares of koya-dofu<br>

3 cups dashi<br>

5 Tablespoons sugar<br>

2 Tablespoons mirin<br>

2 Tablespoons soy sauce<br>

1/2 teaspoon salt<br>

vegetables of choice<br>

Today, I will simmer it with shimeji mushrooms and snow peas (added at the very end).

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7211.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>1. First you need to prepare the koya-dofu. Place it in a bowl and pour hot water on it to cover and, let it sit for 5 minutes. Place one piece at a time between your hands and squeeze the water out. Cover it with more water and squeeze it again, repeat this process until the water is no longer milky. Cut the pieces in half or quarters.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7212.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>Tofu before and after soaking.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>2. Place the dashi, sugar, mirin, soy sauce and salt in a large frying pan and bring to a boil.

<P>3. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the tofu and vegetables and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7210.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>4. Let cool slightly before eating. This type of tofu is like a sponge and when you bite into it, the simmering liquid will shoot out. If it is too hot, you could get a serious burn in your mouth. Trust me I know!

<P><b>YUBA</b>: tofu skin (soy milk)

<P>Yuba is the skin that forms on the top of soy milk when it is heated. This is carefully pulled off and is treated as a delicacy. As only one skin forms at a time and it takes some time for the skins to form this can be quite time consuming. The following recipe can serve as many people as you want it just depends on how long you want to stand at the stove. I like to use a non-stick sauce pan as it makes it easier to pull them away from the sides and clean-up is a lot easier as well.


<P>About 500ml soy milk (2 cups)<BR>

Soy sauce and wasabi to serve<BR>

<P>1. Place the soy milk in a saucepan and bring to just before the boil over medium heat.

<P>2. Lower the heat to low and wait for a skin to form on the top of the milk, this is the yuba. Gently pull it off by what ever method works for you. I like to use chopsticks but you could also try a spatula or tongs.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7216.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>3. Wait until the next skin forms and pull that off as well. Place the skins into a dish and continue until you get tired. It takes over an hour to get the skins from 500ml of soy milk. To prevent them from drying out, I like to give them a little sweep through the soy milk to wet them a little before putting them on the dish.

<P>4. Serve with soy sauce and wasabi to taste. This does not keep well and should be served soon after making.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7213.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7214.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR><TR><TD><CENTER>This is all that was left in the pan of 500ml of soy milk<BR> after 1 hour and 15 minutes of pulling off the yuba.</CENTER></TD></TR></TABLE>


<P><b>MATCHA "MOUSSE"</b>: green tea “mousse” (soy milk)

<P>This is a very easy to make dessert that uses soy milk as its base.


<P>Serves 4 to 6 depending on size of the cups

<P>3/4 cup soy milk <BR>

4 Tablespoons sugar<BR>

1 Tablespoon matcha (green tea) powder<BR>

2 egg yolks<BR>

1/2 cup fresh cream<BR>

1 package gelatin<BR>

1/4 cup water<BR>

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7140.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>1. Sprinkle the gelatin on the water and stir to dissolve, set aside.

<P>2. Heat the soy milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat and bring just to the boil.

<P>3. Mix the sugar and matcha powder together and add to the soy milk, whisk until dissolved then remove from the heat.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7141.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>4. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl and slowly pour in the soy milk mixture. Next slowly stir in the gelatin mixture.

<P>5. Place the bowl inside another bowl that is filled with ice and keep mixing until it starts to thicken.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7142.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>Remove from the ice and set aside.

<P>6. Whip the cream in a separate bowl until very soft peaks form, carefully fold this into the matcha mixture.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7143.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>7. Pour into cups or ramekins and refrigerate until firm.

<P><BR><TABLE ALIGN=center border=0>

<TR><TD WIDTH=568><IMG SRC="http://images.egullet.com/u6134/i7144.jpg" WIDTH=568 HEIGHT=426</TD></TR></TABLE>

<P>8. Serve plain or top it with a little sweetened whipped cream.

<P>Ask your questions about this course here.


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