Tofu — From Easy Homemade Meal To Sacred Buddhist Dish


Most Japanese families routinely stock one or two packages of tofu in their fridge. Tofu is such a convenient product because you can enjoy eating it without cooking.

There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Delicious hiya-yakko (cold tofu) includes soy sauce and katsuobushi (dried bonito fish) or grated ginger. In the wintertime, tasty boiled tofu called yu-dofu (hot tofu) is eaten.

Tofu originated during the Han dynasty in China about 2000 years ago. It was introduced into Japan during the Nara period (710-794) and spread into other parts of East Asia as well.

This likely coincided with the spread of Buddhism because tofu is an important source of protein in the vegetarian diet of East Asian Buddhists.


Tofu used be sold in specialty Tofu shops. There were a few Tofu shops in every small town when I was a child in the 70s. 

Even now, you can find some Tofu shops that maintain the traditional method for producing Tofu and where you can buy fresh tofu and also fresh soy milk! I suggest trying fresh soy milk if you find a Tofu shop.

Some even offer the experience to make Tofu. Are you interested in making Tofu? Then why don’t you try making Tofu with us?