Yuba (tofu skin)
Hand-made by monks at Solinan Temple in Kyoto, this soybean-based health food has long been acknowledged as one of the most nutritious foods of the Orient. It is believed that the First Chinese Emperor Qui Shihaung (B.C. 259 to 210) was responsible for the growth in popularity of yuba. As he grew older he implored his medical advisors to discover an elixir which would invigorate him and prolong his life.

After many failed attempts (and executions no doubt for the hapless advisers) yuba became the chosen health-food of the emperor. In contemporary Japan interest has been reawakened in this food by a series of documentaries shown on NHK (the number-one TV channel in Japan). As with the West, growing mistrust of food manufacturing processes has prompted people to seek out handmade organic food which has not been subjected to modern food processing methods.

How to Make Yuba

1. First, the finest soya beans are chosen. The beans are then soaked for eight hours.

2. The soaked beans are then ground.

3. The pulp is then strained by hand and the vat is filled up with juice.

4. The juice is now ready to be transformed into yuba.

5. Yuba sheets are pulled up one by one from the surface of the soyabean juice.

6. The juice is heated on a special layered surface.

7. Yuba sheets are left to dry.

8. The finished product.

For more information about yuba products, check out Niall O'Keeffe's "Handmade Yuba from Kyoto" website.
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