Tofu (豆腐) is soy
bean milk that is formed with nigari - a solidifier. The firmer type of tofu is called momen (綿, cotton). Kinu (絹, silken) type has a softer texture. There are many kinds of tofu in Japanese cuisine
. Here are a few.
Aburage (油揚げ) is thinly cut, deep-fried tofu.
- Agedashi tofu (揚げ出し豆腐) is silken tofu coated in corn starch, deep-fried briefly and served in a dashi. Yay!
Update: I see that a recipe has just been posted
- Atsuage (厚揚げ) is cut thickly and fried.
- Ganmodoki (is tofu mixed with yam, egg whites and other ingredients then fried. In Kansai it is called hirousu or hiryozu.
- Kooridofu (凍豆腐) is freeze dried tofu. It is also called koyadofu (高野豆腐) or shimidofu. It was said that a Shingon monk on Koya-san tripped and dropped some tofu in the snow and lost it. When it turned up later, it was frozen. When it thawed, the tofu had of course lost most of its moisture. It has a lacy, spongey texture and soaks up flavours. It's fun. Just put some tofu in your freezer and take it out a few days later. Try it in miso shiru (miso soup).
- Okara or Unohana (卯の花) is the soybean pulp that is the by-product of making soy milk. It can be pretty grim. Add some taste with saké, a thin miso or seafood broth. Fry with oil until all the moisture has evaporated. Salt it heavily. Have it with some more saké. Not so bad now, hm? Have some more saké. It's getting better, isn't it?
- Yakidofu (焼き豆腐) has been lightly browned on both sides by broiling. It is much more savoury than just soft tofu. It's firmness makes it an ideal ingredient in nabe dishes. In the Kanto region, yakidofu is cooked sweet in shoyu soy sauce and is called nishime. Nishime is a popular dish eaten at New Years in Japan
- Yuba (湯葉) is made from the skin that forms on heated soybean milk. It is very very high in protein, something like 21%. Yuba is available fresh or dried. Reconsitute the dried yuba overnight. Slice it and put it in soups. Better yet, fold it into small packets. Deep-fry it until it is crispy on the outside but has sweet soft layers on the inside. Salt it heavily. Have it with saké.