What is Tofu?
First things first: What is tofu? This is a product of relatively neutral favor, very popular in the cuisines of Japan, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia.
Tofu is made condensing soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into cubes. The traditional coagulant used to make this traditional food is nigari, or magnesium chloride, a byproduct of extracting salt from water. There are many different variations of tofu: firm, silken, medium, and super firm.
What’s the History of Tofu?
Some believe that tofu was created in China during the Han dynasty (206 BC-220 CE). This would make sense because soy grains were among the five sacred grains of Ancient China. If this version is correct, the tofu-making tradition radiated from China toward other countries that adopted it enthusiastically.
What Are its Health Benefits?
Tofu may help decrease risks of diabetes and heart disease, among others. It can also improve brain function and boost skin elasticity
The nutrients present in tofu may vary depending on the ingredients and the preparation method. 100 grams of tofu made with nigari as the coagulant ingredient provides 118 mg of calcium, 10.59 grams of protein, 3.39 grams of iron, and 10.59 grams of protein.
How Popular Is Tofu in Asia?
Tofu is VERY popular in the countries we mention above (Japan, China, Korea, and countries in Southeast Asia). In Japan, there are tofu shops that date back to the XIX century, and the economy of Shenkeng, a rural district in northern Taiwan known as “The Capital of Tofu”, depends on “tofu tourism.”
The only limit is your imagination. This product is versatile from every point of view: taste, texture, and presentation. For example, there is tofu ice cream, tofu skewers, tofu hamburgers, and tofu salad.
Learn More About Asian Cuisine
Interested in learning more about Asian cuisine? You are in the right place! We also love the variety and excitement of these amazing culinary traditions. Here are some previous posts where you can find more information about this fascinating topic:
- What is purple rice?
- Soba Noodles: Everything you need to know
- Teriyaki: a symbol of Japanese cuisine
- Bulgogi, from Korea with love
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