Koya Dofu (Freeze Dried Tofu)

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[ALSO FEATURED IN OUR VEGAN SHOJIN RYORI: "ZEN" CARE PACKAGE]

Prefecture: Nagano 
Producer: Shinanoyuki 
Ingredients: Whole non-GMO soybeans (domestic), coagulant for tofu [magnesium chloride (bittern)]
Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free
Size:8 pieces (65g) 

Koya dofu (freeze-dried tofu) is a staple in any Japanese pantry. Like most tofu, koya dofu has a mild nutty flavor but with a unique spongy texture. When cooked in a broth, the tofu soaks up the liquid, making it almost burst in your mouth when you eat it. It’s delicious served warm after being freshly prepared, but can also be enjoyed cold or at room temperature. It is also one of the main foods in Shōjin Ryōri and is often used for modoki ryōri (a style of cooking where plant-based ingredients are used tomimic the appearance, taste and texture of meat and fish).

The origins of koya dofu are a bit of a mystery. Legend has it that in the Kamakura period (1185-1333), a monk living high on Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture accidentally left his tofu outside in the bitter cold. When he thawed the frozen tofu in the sun and ate it, he discovered it was surprisingly delicious and thus koya dofu was born.

To make this koya dofu, whole, high quality soybeans are washed then soaked for about 20 hours until they swell to about 2 or 3 times their weight. The beans are then crushed and squeezed to remove the soybean milk, which is then evenly heated and injected with a coagulant before being carefully frozen and stored at -2 to 3°C for 20 days. It is then thawed, dehydrated and dried to create the perfect taste and texture.

Suggested uses: Rehydrate by soaking in warm water then squeeze out the water and simmer in a flavored broth/soup. Use in place of regular tofu, as is or ground up, in stir fries, pasta, rice bowls, etc. Can also be added directly to miso and noodle soups without being rehydrated first.

Recipes:
Vegan Japanese Sweet and Sour Koya Dofu Stir Fry

 

DISCLAIMER: We provide ingredients and common allergens based on the packaging as a reference only. Please consume with caution based on your own individual health concerns as we cannot guarantee the presence or lack of certain ingredients, allergens and/or animal products.

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