When you hear the word tofu, the typical white cubes that have little flavor and are a good substitute for meat may come to mind. But there’s more to tofu than you realize. In Japan, there is a whole aisle dedicated to tofu and tofu related products in supermarkets. It’s not just a sign that we are obsessed with our tofu, but that there is a bigger tofu world for you to explore. Here are some of the types of tofu you can find in a Japanese supermarket.
Kinugoshi tofu, also known as soft or silken tofu, is a fresh tofu that has not been drained or pressed, so it has a high water content. This tofu is usually served as hiyayakko, a dish of chilled kinugoshi tofu topped with soy sauce, katsuobushi (dried skipjack tuna flakes), and green onions.
Momen, also called firm tofu, is a fresh tofu that has a slightly firmer texture and lower moisture content than kinugoshi because it has been pressed and drained. Momen tofu is eaten cooked with nimono (vegetables simmered in dashi stock) or in miso soups.
Oboro tofu is the curds of kinugoshi tofu, and has a soft and fluffy texture and taste. Enjoy it fresh and chilled on its own, just with some soy sauce and a bit of wasabi or grated ginger.
4. Edamame Tofu
This tofu is a type of kinugoshi tofu that is made with edamame. Get the ones that have whole edamame beans in them for an extra kick to flavor and texture!
5. Yuzu Tofu
Yuzu tofu is another variety of kinugoshi flavored with yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit) from its juice and zest. The tart flavor from the yuzu goes well with the creaminess of the kinugoshi.
6. Yaki Tofu
Yaki tofu is a momen tofu that has been lightly grilled on both sides. It is usually eaten in sukiyaki and other hot pots.
7. Koya Tofu
A dried tofu that is soaked in water and rehydrated before eating. You can eat it in stews or soups, and it is also great sautéed or grilled as a meat substitute.
A type of thin fried tofu that is hollow and has a pouch in the middle. It can be used for making inari zushi where you put rice inside the tofu, or it can be eaten as a topping for noodles or soups.
A thick tofu where the outside is fried and crunchy and crisp. It’s best eaten warm, fresh, and crunchy, with some soy sauce and katsuobushi.
10. Agedashi Tofu
Another type of fried tofu, where kinugoshi tofu is covered in potato or cornstarch and lightly fried. It should be eaten in a hot tentsuyu broth (mixture of dashi, mirin, and soy sauce) with katsuobushi, grated daikon (Japanese radish), and green onions.
Ganmodoki is a type of fritter made of tofu, vegetables, and egg whites. This variety of fried tofu is soft and fluffy and is stuffed with lots of vegetable fillings inside.
12. Goma Tofu
Goma tofu is one of those types of tofu that is not actually tofu. It is made from sesame paste, kuzu flour, and additional flavorings. It tastes amazing with the miso dressing it usually comes packaged with.
13. Tamago Tofu
A ‘tofu’ that is actually a savory egg custard. It should be eaten cold with a little bit of dashi sauce.
14. Dessert Tofu
These types of tofu are like dessert – they have the texture of smooth, silky tofu, but are sweet. These two are custard flavored and annindofu (almond pudding) flavored with berry sauce.