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Try tofuyou at Tatsu-no-Kura, Kencho-mae branch The aged, fermented food melts in your mouth like chocolate
post : 2016.10.24 09:00
Tofuyou is a traditional Okinawan food from Ryukyu kingdom period. It is a unique type of tofu prepared through fermentation in monascus (a type of mold) and awamori (Okinawan sake). Some people really enjoy tofuyou with alcohol, but others may be afraid of trying it from rumors of being too salty or having a strong aroma.
Interlink Okinawa opened the tofuyou shop Tatsu-no-Kura, Kencho-mae branch in Matsuo, Naha City for the purpose of changing the negative image of tofuyou. There are no other places specializing in tofuyou in Okinawa. This company also owns awamori cellar in a limestone cave in Kin Town and they ferment tofu slowly at this location as well.
The temperature in the 30-meter-deep cave remains at a constant 18C throughout the year. It is the perfect temperature in which to age both tofuyou and awamori. There are about 100 tofuyou cakes stored in a barrel and more than 400 barrels a year are used make this interesting tofu product.
Although most companies ferment their tofuyou for only a few months, here, the fermentation process takes over a year before the tofuyou is ready to go to market. This long fermentation process adds mildness to the flavor and minimizes pungency.
“I like to offer our tofuyou to first-timers in addition to tofuyou aficionados,” said Sayaka Toyokawa, managing director. People who try this tofuyou are usually impressed with its delicacy. It’s not too salty, has a very mild flavor and is very tasty!
The taste is often described as resembling cream cheese or sea urchin paste and the texture is like chocolate melting in your mouth. You can eat plain, on the toast, over rice or mixed with olive oil for dressing. Tofuyou juice can be a versatile ingredient for cooking. “I soaked cheese in the juice and it came out really tasty!” a customer once said.
They will keep in the refrigerator for about six months even after opening although it should be kept in back of the fridge, not in the pocket.
The Tofuyou Modern line of condiments all made from tofuyou paste are useful for all kinds of cooking
Various tofuyou flavors are available – Ryukyu (standard), Chinese (sesame oil base with hot pepper from Ishigaki island and Chinese seasonings), Yofu (anchovy, olive oil and garlic). There’s sure to some that will improve your cooking.
The rafute (simmered pork belly) is made with only a tablespoonful of the Ryukyu paste. Usually, rafute is simmered in a soy sauce, sugar and sake but here the meat comes out really flavorful and tasty.
Chinese paste is best on the rice porridge, banbanji chicken, stir fried dishes, etc.
Yofu is great for pastas or for making bagna càuda. It’s the perfect sauce for any fish or meat dish.
“You can use Tofuyou Modern paste for almost any kind of cooking,” said Toyokawa. “Tofuyou, is a fermented food with beneficial bacteria, it is good for maintaining your health and beauty. Please give it a try, you will enjoy it.”
Tatsu-no-Kura Kencho-mae branch
Address: 1-9-47 Matsuo, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 10:00 19:00, daily
Okinawa CLIP Photo writer: Sachiko