Japanese Superfoods: Yuba

It’s not a secret to anyone who knows me that I came to Japan for one reason and one reason only: tofu. But after some years, my love for it has expanded to soybeans, (which tofu is based on), because these miracle beans are somehow connected to most Japanese delicacies — including the versatile and nutritious tofu skin, known as yuba in Japan.

What Is It?

Yuba is the byproduct of boiled soy-milk. Just like the natural process we have all observed with heated cows milk, as soy-milk boils, a film (yuba) forms on the surface of the milk as the cream and protein rise to the surface. While most people discard the icky skins from cows milk straight-away, the Japanese keep the yuba. They love it mainly due to its nutritional value: high in protein and iron with little cholesterol, and because of its delicate form and easily adaptable natural flavor which has them (and now me) eating it from breakfast to dessert.

Soy milk with thin yuba or tofu film.

There is no place for denying it, yuba is not even slightly attractive if eaten on its own. In fact, its name supposedly comes from the Japanese word uba (old woman) because of its wrinkled-skin-like appearance! But, as weve learnt with other unattractive Japanese favorites (oyster, octopus, bitter melon, squid and the like), it’s essentially the taste that’s important. However, similar to soy-milk, tofu, and okara, yuba does not actually have much flavor. What it does have is versatility. And it’s also a delicacy — in the amount of time one pound of yuba is created, 100 pounds of tofu can be made.

The production process of yuba.

How to eat it?

Yuba …continue reading