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Tofu & Egg Recipes

Making Fresh Tofu,Tonyu (soymilk) & Yuba
If you live in an area where it is hard to find tofu, or if you eat tofu often and love it, I recommend that you purchase a soymilk maker in order to make your own tofu, tonyu (soymilk) and even yuba (soymilk skin). The process for making tofu is similar to making cheese, and if you have the right equipment, is very easy to do. You can also make your own soymilk and tofu without a dedicated machine, but the process is more laborious, as well as messy, so I won’t go into it here. RECIPE

I wasn’t even aware that yuba, the dried kind that is added to soups, is even more delicious when fresh. After sampling fresh yuba sashimi in Kyoto, I knew I would crave this delicate and expensive delicacy, since it is impossible to buy fresh yuba outside of Japan. The only alternative is to make it yourself after making your own fresh soymilk. However, it's a bit of a challenge, and requires patience.

Kumiage yuba, or fresh yuba

This doesn't even qualify as a recipe, so it doesn't have a separate page. Simply take chilled fresh kinugoshi (soft tofu), sprinkle it with some kastuobushi flakes and finely chopped green onion, and serve on small individual plates, along with soy sauce. Or, top a block of tofu with a small dab of wasabi and do the same. The possibilities are endless, as tofu compliments so many flavors. For special occasions, I like to top tofu with a few bright red ikura (salmon eggs) and slivered green onion.

Goma Dofu (sesame ‘tofu’)
This rich, savory pudding is called tofu, but is not made of soybeans, but ground sesame. It appears on many shojin ryori (vegetarian temple cooking) menus and is a personal favorite of mine. Although it's surprisingly easy to make, it's considered a delicacy for special occasions. It is best enjoyed with a bit of soy sauce and wasabi. RECIPE

Sesame tofu

Tamagoyaki (rolled omelet)
Also called dashimaki (named for its secret ingredient, dashi), the Japanese rolled omelete is juicy, fluffy and packed with flavor. Regrettably, it was never in my mother's culinary repertoire and I've only recently learned how to make them. It helps to have a square pan designed specifically for this purpose, but passable (if not pretty) omelets can also be made with a small round skillet. In Japan, slices of omelet are served at breakfast, packed into bentos for lunch, and sit atop nigiri sushi. In fact, as the balance of texture and flavor is deceptively tricky, tasty tamago is known as the test of a great sushi chef. This recipe for Tokyo style omelete is shared by Elizabeth Andoh, who taught me the proper technique. RECIPE

Thin Omelet
This is not a complete recipe, but rather a component of other recipes. Flavored paper-thin omelets are often cut into fine strips and served on top of chirashi sushi (scattered sushi), hiyashi chu-ka (cold ramen), bentos and donburis. RECIPE


My mother is a master at making chawan mushi, a type of creamy, hugely satisfying savory custard that many people find quite tricky to make. She shared this recipe with me only after much badgering and many questions. It’s rare to find this at Western restaurants, and everyone I’ve taken to Japan immediately falls in love with this heartwarming dish. It can either be served hot or cold. RECIPE

Okara (soybean lees)
Okara has almost no taste of its own, and soaks up the flavor of whatever condiments and sauces are used. Known as a humble ingredient often used in home cooking.

I learned this simple and delicious recipe from Sachiyo Imai, a master of obanzai (Kyoto home cooking) during a cooking class. Although Mrs. Imai uses no recipes, I approximated her instructions and came up with the following recipe. This recipe is more subtle than the traditional unohana preparation because it doesn’t include shiitake mushrooms. I like it better, because shiitake has such a strong flavor and aroma that it tends to overpower the wholesome goodness of the okara.. RECIPE