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Posts Tagged ‘tofu’

Part Three: Yuba and Tofu in Kyoto

Japan takes its local specialties, particularly food, very seriously. Whenever I go on a trip, I get asked if I tried whatever that region’s famous cuisine is. Osaka is famous for okonomiyaki お好み焼き and takoyaki たこ焼き (not really high cuisine, but food that reminds me of my time there); Fukui is famous for crab; northern Ishikawa, oysters, 鰤 buri (yellowtail), and isaza; Kumamoto, horse-meat-sashimi; and Hakata and Sapporo, local-style ramen, just to name a few. Kyoto’s specialty is tofu.

After visiting the 北野天満宮 Kitano Tenmanguu (Shrine) for the monthly flea market on the 25th, we stopped in a Toyouke Chaya to try yuba 湯葉. Yuba is thin strips formed from the product that is skimmed off the top of the liquid during the production of tofu 豆腐. And while that sounds gross to the uninitiated American, trust me, it’s delicious.

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In which delicious pumpkin things are cooked, but our heroine’s poor fingers are spared.

Japan’s fall foods include chestnuts, eggplants, and pumpkin, among many others. My gym has a farmers’ market attached. (See, I told you we were country out here!) Kabocha, the smaller, sweeter Japanese cousin of the pumpkin, is super cheap there–100 yen (90 cents) will buy you a whole pumpkin, whereas the supermarket sells whole pumpkins for as much as 500 yen ($4.50) a pop. Suddenly, bargain-hunting mode struck me, and I had more pumpkins than I knew what to do with.

Here are two simple kabocha recipes you can make at home.
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