Apr 25, 2013

Which tofu to choose? Cotton or silk?

Hi everyone!

Today's topic is tofu. I guess I don't have to explain what tofu is. But do you know the difference between "cotton tofu" and "silk tofu"? Or you haven't even noticed that there is a variety in tofu?

Well, this is a soft silken tofu, called 絹豆腐きぬどうふ、 kinu-dofu, silk tofu) or 絹ごし豆腐きぬごしどうふ、kinugoshi-dofu, literally meaning silk-filtered tofu) in Japanese. Can you see the hiragana “きぬ”?

The name comes from the very soft, smooth texture. A silk filter is not used to strain soy milk in the manufacturing process, as some people misunderstand. Silken tofu is much more delicate than a firm tofu, also called 木綿豆腐もめんどうふ momen-dofu, or cotton tofu) .

Once again, this tofu has nothing to do with cotton. To make a cotton tofu, they first break coagulated soy milk, put it in a frame and press hard to drain. (A silken tofu is not drained. ) That's why this type of tofu is firm and can be picked up with chopsticks. Nutritionally, it contains more protein, calcium and iron than a silk tofu, and of course is higher in calories. 

Which to choose is up to your preference, but according to the Japan Tofu Association, a cotton tofu "is ideal for grilling, pan frying, simmering or deep frying," while a silken tofu should be eaten fresh as "hiya-yakko"  (a dish made with a chilled tofu and toppings, seasoned with soy sauce) so that you can enjoy its creamy texture.

I personally prefer a firm tofu and use it for hiya-yakko as well, though...
This is my hiya-yakko topped with finely chopped 万能ねぎ(banno negi, a type of spring onion similar to chives) and かつおぶし(katsuobushi, dry bonito flakes).   

Today's useful expression: これは もめんどうふ ですか?きぬごしですか?Kore wa momen-dofu desuka? Kinugoshi desuka?  Is this a firm tofu or a soft one?

1 comment:

  1. Hello, thank you, that is helpful. I make cotton tofu; I have tried to make silken tofu and it is very tricky!
    Do you also have different names for tofu that is set/coagulated with different chemicals? I use nigari.