Tofu products and dishes in Japan

Tofu, a cornerstone of Japanese cuisine, is crafted from curdled soy milk, pressed into blocks akin to cheese-making. Packed with protein, tofu reigns supreme in both savory and sweet dishes, offering a delicate taste and versatility. Particularly cherished in vegetarian Buddhist temple cuisine, known as shojin ryori, tofu shines as a key ingredient, elevating dishes with its nutritious goodness.

Whether in soups, stir-fries, or desserts, tofu lends its subtle flavor and smooth texture to countless culinary creations. As you explore Japan's food scene, don't miss the chance to savor the diverse delights of tofu in its many delicious forms.


Here are some of the top tofu products and dishes:

Tofu products

Soft tofu Soft Tofu Japan Source

Soft tofu is like the smooth operator of the tofu world! With its custard-like consistency, this fresh tofu variant adds a luxurious touch to any dish. Enjoy it chilled as hiyayakko or mix it into sauces and stews like mabodofu for a silky texture.

Soft tofu is a versatile ingredient in Japanese cuisine, offering a delicate and creamy texture that complements a variety of flavors. Whether you're whipping up a refreshing appetizer or adding depth to your favorite stew, soft tofu adds a touch of indulgence to every bite. So, don't forget to include it in your culinary adventures while traveling through Japan!

Firm tofu Firm Tofu Japan Source

Firm tofu is like the sturdy cousin of soft tofu, boasting a firmer texture that holds up well during cooking adventures. Whether you're stir-frying, grilling, or simmering, firm tofu adds a satisfying bite to your dishes.

In Japanese cuisine, firm tofu is a versatile ingredient, perfect for a wide range of recipes. Its sturdy texture makes it ideal for stir-fries, soups, and even grilling. So, when you're traveling through Japan, don't miss the chance to savor the deliciousness of firm tofu in its many culinary delights!

Deep fried tofu (aburaage and atsuage) Deep Fried Tofu Japan

When it comes to Japanese cuisine, deep-fried tofu is a game changer! Take aburaage, for example - thin sheets of tofu fried until they're light and airy. You can use them as pouches stuffed with fillings for dishes like inarizushi or slice them up to garnish miso soup or kitsune udon.

Then there's atsuage, a thicker variety resembling regular tofu with a crispy fried skin. Enjoy it solo, seasoned with sauce, or add it to soups and stews for extra flavor and texture. With these tofu variations, your culinary adventures in Japan are sure to be packed with delicious discoveries!

Freeze dried tofu Freeze Tofu Japan Source

Koyadofu is a unique tofu variant, freeze-dried and named after Mount Koya, where it's a local specialty often enjoyed at Buddhist temples. With its light and spongy texture, Koyadofu absorbs the flavors of sauces or soups it's cooked in, making it a versatile ingredient.

If you're exploring Japan's culinary scene or delving into vegetarian temple cuisine (shojin ryori), don't miss the chance to taste Koyadofu. Its distinctive texture and ability to enhance any dish make it a must-try during your travels in Japan!

Fermented tofu Fermented Tofu Japan Source

Tofuyo is a distinctive Okinawan dish that packs a flavorful punch! Made from fermented tofu soaked in malted rice and awamori liquor, Tofuyo boasts a powerful and pungent taste, often likened to strong cheese due to its rich flavor and texture.

While exploring Okinawa's vibrant food scene, be sure to sample Tofuyo at local restaurants. Typically served in small portions alongside alcoholic drinks, this specialty dish offers a one-of-a-kind taste experience that's sure to leave a lasting impression on your Japanese travels!

Popular tofu dishes

Hiyayakko Hiyayakko

Hiyayakko, is a refreshing dish perfect for beating the heat! This chilled tofu treat, typically made with soft tofu, is garnished with grated ginger, shaved bonito flakes (katsuobushi), and fresh green onions. For an extra flavor boost, drizzle some soy sauce over the tofu.

Whether you're exploring the bustling streets of Tokyo or wandering through Kyoto's historic alleys, Hiyayakko is a must-try for travelers seeking a cool and satisfying culinary experience. So, dive into this delightful dish and treat yourself to a taste of Japan's vibrant food culture during your travels!

Yudofu Yudofu

Yudofu is a cozy dish perfect for chilly days in Japan! This Kyoto specialty features tender tofu pieces boiled in a light, clear soup, offering a comforting and mild flavor. To amp up the taste, dip the tofu in soy sauce or zesty ponzu (lemon-flavored soy sauce) before taking a bite.

Yudofu is a must-try during your Japanese travels, especially in Kyoto where it's a beloved local specialty. As you explore the city's culinary scene, don't miss the chance to savor this warming dish, particularly during the colder seasons for a truly authentic taste of Japan!

Miso soup Miso soup

Miso soup is a traditional dish that features a blend of miso paste dissolved in savory dashi stock, served alongside a steaming bowl of rice. With additions like wakame seaweed, tofu, and sliced aburaage, miso soup offers a symphony of flavors and textures.

From cozy family dinners to casual outings, miso soup is a staple on Japanese menus and a favorite among travelers exploring Japan. With endless ingredient possibilities, each bowl promises a unique culinary experience that'll leave you craving for more during your Japanese adventures!

Agedashidofu Agedashidofu

Agedashidofu! This delightful creation features lightly breaded tofu, deep-fried until crispy, then served piping hot in a flavorful soy sauce broth. Topped with fresh green onions or grated daikon, it's a perfect blend of texture and taste.

Whether you're dining at a traditional eatery or unwinding at an izakaya, you're sure to find Agedashidofu on the menu. With its comforting warmth and savory flavors, this dish is a must-try for travelers seeking a taste of authentic Japanese cuisine during their adventures.

Mabodofu Mabodofu

Mabodofu is Japan's take on a beloved Szechuan classic! Introduced by Chen Kenmin, father of Iron Chef Chen Kenichi, this dish stars tofu swimming in a zesty sauce infused with fermented black beans, minced pork, and red chili.

You'll find Mabodofu on the menu of almost every Chinese restaurant in Japan, but it's also a popular choice at ramen joints, family diners, and izakaya spots. With its bold flavors and satisfying texture, Mabodofu is a must-try for travelers seeking a flavorful adventure through Japan's culinary landscape!

Hot pot (nabe) Hot pot (nabe) Source

Tofu adds a hearty touch to Japanese hot pot (nabe) dishes like chanko nabe, a favorite among sumo wrestlers, and shabu shabu. These comforting meals are perfect for warming up during the chilly winter months, offering a delicious blend of flavors and textures.

Whether you're diving into a steaming bowl of chanko nabe or dipping thinly sliced meat and veggies into bubbling shabu shabu broth, tofu plays a starring role in these iconic Japanese dishes. So, when you're traveling through Japan, don't miss the chance to cozy up with a bowl of tofu-infused hot pot for a truly authentic culinary experience!

Inarizushi Inarizushi

Inarizushiis an easy and affordable option made with seasoned aburaage pouches filled with sushi rice. You can find Inarizushi at sushi joints, supermarkets, and even convenience stores across the country.

With its sweet and savory flavors, Inarizushi is a favorite among sushi enthusiasts and travelers alike. Don't miss the chance to indulge in this tasty treat during your adventures in Japan for a satisfying culinary experience!

Kitsune Udon Kitsune Udon Source

Kitsune Udon is a delicious noodle dish topped with sweetened, deep-fried tofu. Its name, "fox udon," stems from the belief that fried tofu is a beloved treat of foxes.

Indulge in this flavorful dish and experience the perfect harmony of chewy udon noodles and savory-sweet tofu. As you explore Japan's culinary wonders, don't miss the chance to savor Kitsune Udon for a truly authentic taste of Japanese cuisine!