Island Tofu

Nasu and his Island Tofu.

Living on a remote island has its problems, especially with importing food. On Chichijima, residents are very lucky to have their very own tofu factory. The Island Tofu factory is a one-man run business and is based on how tofu was made and sold in the past. Working to demand, the factory can produce up to 180 tofu in holiday and festival periods and a minimum of 30 tofu. Unfortunately there are no soy beans produced on Ogasawara, so organic soy beans from Kyushu are used. Everything else though is from the island and any waste has been found a use for. Islanders can buy tofu straight from the small factory in the morning, while in the afternoon Nasu sells the tofu out of his van in town. People wishing to buy the tofu must bring their own container, reducing any waste.

The following shows how Nasu makes his tofu. Japanese tofu is very different to what you can buy in Australian stores and fresh, well, there is nothing quite like it!

Soy beans

After soaking the beans over night they are then boiled.

After being boiled till they are nice and frothy, the mixture is then pressed.

What is pressed out is pure soy milk, warm and delicious.

What is left after being pressed is this. Nasu gives it to a neighboring farms chickens, in return he gets fresh fruits and vegetables.

A mixture of concentrated sea water with all the salt taken out from the local salt factory is then added.

After a few minutes, the tofu shows signs of setting.

It is then placed into the final mould and left to drain. The liquid which drains out is used as a soap around the house. Nothing is wasted in this factory.

The final pressing.

The tofu is then cut into selling sizes in water.

Nasu then sells his tofu in town out of his van.

What to do with Tofu?
Nasu’s favourite way to eat tofu is very simple but with good tofu, you do not need to add much to it. Nasu makes two main types of tofu- silk and cotton. For this recipe, silk tofu is the best.

In a bowl combine, 1/2 cup of sesame oil, two tablespoons of leek or spring onion finely chopped and about one tablespoon of salt. Just before eating, pour the mixture over the tofu and that is it! Simple but delicious.

If you prefer baking, tofu makes a great cheesecake without the cheese.

Raspberry, Lemon and Tofu Pie.

This entry was published on October 13, 2012 at 7:47 am and is filed under Japan, Ogasawara Islands, Recipe, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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