Off-the-Eaten Path Food Experience in Japan. "Meet the People and Places behind your Plates! "

Wednesday 23 November 2016

How to make Japanese vegan cheese, fermented tofu "tofuyo" 豆腐よう

Tofuyo (furu in Chinese)

Tofuyo is fermented tofu mainly produced in Okinawa, and sometimes also in Kyushu island. It tastes like cheese, purely made of plants: soy bean. 

The ingredients are; tofu (from soy bean), koji (rice mold), and sake (awamori in Okinawa).

Koji (qu in Chinese) is rice mold, fermented for 3 days after inoccurated aspergillus oryzae or monascus (a kind of fungi) into steamed rice. It is used for various fermented seasonings such as miso, soy sauce, and sake. In Japan, it is available at any supermarkets or sake stores. 

For tofuyo, two types of koji are mixed, white koji made from asperguillus oryzae, and red koji made from monascus. The liquid would be pink color for this.

How to make tofuyo

1. Dry tofu for 3-7 days with salt on the surface.

2. When the surface is completely dried, and slightly yellowish, mixed with awamori (rice alcohol 泡盛) and koji.

3. Wait 6 month to be ready.

6 months later, the tofu is getting to be chese-like taste.

The enzyme of rice mold (kouji), protease converts tofu's protein into amino acid and peptide. 

In some areas in Kyushu island (south island in Japan), there are different types of fermented tofu.

In Kumamoto, fermented tofu with miso paste is called "yamauni", which stands for sea urchin, since it tastes like urchin.

There are various ways to decompose protein by utilizing the activities of fungi or enzyme. Indeed, the indigenous knowledge was transmitted from generations to generations. It's interesting to seek for the origin of fermented foods.