Kori-dofu no fukumeni
Have you ever tried this unique soybean product called 凍り豆腐 (kori-dofu)? 凍り(kori) means frozen and 豆腐 (dofu) is the same as tofu. This kanji 豆腐 is usually read as “tofu” but in this case, it’s read as “dofu” because of the reason below.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT JAPANESE LANGUAGE
“凍り (kori) 豆腐 (dofu)” is a compound word consisting of two words “こおり(kori) and とうふ (tofu)”. A voiced mark like this ゛is often added in the upper right corner of the first consonant of the second word of the compound like と (to) → ど (do) making it easier to pronounce and join the two words.
WHAT IS “KORI-DOFU”?
Kori-dofu isn’t frozen tofu. My dictionary says it’s “freeze-dried soybean curd”. Thick made tofu is frozen, squeezed and dried. This process is repeated several times.
You can watch the process of making kori-dofu on the Youtube video below if you are interested.
As a result, the tofu can be preserved for a long time and the nutrients are condensed. So kori-dofu is well known as a nutritionally rich food. It especially contains a lot of soy protein, calcium, and magnesium.
As the video said, kori-dofu is also called different names in some regions. The most common name is 高野豆腐 (koya-dofu). It’s said, monks in 高野山 (koyasan) in Wakayama prefecture accidentally started to make kori-dofu in Kamakura period (1185-1333). Now it’s considered to be a specialty there. The name may be more common than kori-dofu.
I used regular size kori-dofu like the piece on the left hand side in the picture for this recipe. I also have some packed half-size kori-dofu in my pantry.
WHAT DOES “FUKUMENI” MEAN?
含め (fukume) means kind of “including” and 煮 (ni) means “simmering”. 含め煮 (fukumeni) is one of the cooking methods where the ingredients absorb the soup while being simmered. When you bite the food, the soup comes out of it.
I used Niban-dashi for this dish. If you’re interested in making dashi using natural ingredients, please check the article below. If you have an instant dashi product, prepare the dashi stock following the instructions of the product.
Otoshi-buta also known as “drop lid” is used in this cooking process. If you don’t know that, please check the article below.
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