Tofu is made of curdled soy milk, pressed into blocks in a process similar to making cheese. It is a good source of protein and a staple of Japanese cuisine. Tofu is an especially important ingredient in vegetarian Buddhist temple cuisine (shojin ryori). On its own, fresh tofu has a delicate taste. It is a versatile food that can be used in a variety of sweet and savory dishes.
Some of the most popular Japanese tofu dishes are as follows:
Popular Tofu Dishes
Hiyayakko is fresh, chilled tofu (usually soft tofu) commonly garnished with grated ginger, shaved bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and green onions, and seasoned with soy sauce. Pour a little bit of soy sauce over the tofu if it did not come already seasoned.
Yudofu are tofu pieces boiled in a clear, mild soup and dipped into soy sauce or ponzu (lemon-flavored soy sauce) before being eaten. Yudofu is a Kyoto specialty and commonly served during the colder seasons.
Miso soup is made by dissolving miso paste in dish stock (dashi) and typically served alongside a bowl of cooked rice. Common additions include wakame seaweed, small pieces of tofu and sliced aburaage, but countless other ingredients can be used, as well.
Agedashidofu is made of lightly breaded tofu which is deep fried and served hot in a soy sauce broth and commonly garnished with green onions or grated daikon. Agedashidofu can be found in a variety of restaurants and is a common izakaya dish.