Tofu and its ByproductsHere are the basic steps to make tofu. First soak soybeans in water for overnight. Then put the soybeans and the water in a grinder and crush. Put it through a strainer. What went through the strainer is called "soy milk(豆乳, tou-nyu)" and what is left in the strainer is called "soybean pulp(おから, okara)". Add a coagulant to the soy milk and pour into molds to form a bean curd "tofu". There are many types of tofu according to the amount of water added to the soybeans and the way soy milk is hardened.
There are 3 types of soymilk(tou-nyu) sold in Japan. Chousei-tou-nyu(調整豆乳) which is the one seasoned with oil, sugar and salt making it easier to drink. Mu-chousei-tou-nyu(無調整豆乳) which is the one with no seasoning. Tou-nyu-inryou(豆乳飲料) which is the soy juice with the flavor of strawberries, bananas, and coffees etc.
A soybean pulp. It is crumbly and full of protein as well as tofu. It is often cooked as simmered dish along with other vegetables.
Literally means "cotton tofu". The name is due to a cloth pattern on tofu which comes from laying a cloth on a mold when forming tofu. It is coarse and tastes more of a soybean than Kinugoshi-tofu.
Literally means "silk tofu". The name is due to its fine and smooth texture. It is more likely to crumble than Momen-tofu.
Literally means "grilled tofu". As you can see, it is lightly grilled on the surface. Often used in hotpot dishes as it contains less water and has a firm texture.
Tofu ProductsThese are various tofu products.
This is the skin you get from boiling soy milk. It is sold fresh for sashimi or dried to put into soup, salad, or simmered dish. The fresh one is mild with full of soy bean taste. The dried one barely taste much but to enjoy its skin texture.
Literally means "deep fried". It is a sheet of deep fried tofu with a brown surface. A versatile ingredient. Eaten grilled, simmered, or you can cut in half and stuff fillings inside.
Literally means "thick deep fried" or "fresh deep fried". It is made by deep frying regular-size tofu. It is brown on the outside but fresh on the inside. Eaten grilled or simmered in dashi.
Literally means "imitated goose meat". It is a deep-fried tofu ball mixed with other ingredients such as carrot, burdock, and sesame seeds. It is used as a substitute for meat in a Buddhist cuisine.
This is a freeze-dried tofu said to have been invented by a Buddhist monk. When soaked in hot water, it becomes a spongy curd nothing like a fresh tofu. It is often eaten as a simmered dish.