Monday, June 11, 2012

Making of Frozen Tofu (Koya Tofu) - My Humble Try on Shojin Cuisine

It has been days since I became hooked with Shojin Cuisine - its beauty, technique, seasonality and wonderful story & history embedded in each dish.   Have you heard of Koya Tofu? It is one of the most famous ingredients used for Shojin Cuisine.   Once upon a time, someone happened to leave his/her Tofu outside under cold weather and that is a birth of frozen tofu, known as Koya tofu.  Nutritious and it can be preserved for a long time.  In 2012 summer @ Hell's Kitchen NYC, here is my humble attempt to make Koya Tofu from scratch with modern equipment called... "FREEZER" (^^)
Koya Tofu soaked with kelp and mushroom broth
1.  Drain medium firm / firm Tofu well by adding a weight on tofu for several hours.  Then, wrap it in a kitchen paper and leave it in a freezer.
... here comes.. this is how frozen tofu looks like... its color changed slightly to yellow...
 2.  Leave it in a room temperature and defrost.  Drain well.  Wrap it in a kitchen paper and throw it in a freezer for the second time.  Then, defrost it again.
Defrosted... Tofu still contains a lot of water.  So, apply pressure on Tofu to drain excess water.  The texture is almost like sponge.  This process reduces Nigari in Tofu to bring out "protein" flavor of Tofu.

It shrank tremendously at the end.  Cut it into bite size.
 In a pot, bring the following to boil:
veggie stock (made of kelp and dried shitake mushroom),
soy sauce, just a right amount to turn color of broth into slightly brown,
sake, a bit less than soy sauce,
A key of this recipe is to use salt to adjust its flavor

Simplicity in its flavor helps me appreciate natural flavor of each ingredient... 

Simmer Koya Tofu in a pot with the above ingredients in low-heat ~slow-cooking~, and let Tofu soak up wonderful flavor and aroma of the soup.  
Served with shitake mushroom and sesonal veggies. 
Thank you for reading my blog!
One day, One recipe!!
Have a nice day!!!

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