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Sep 12, 2000 08:23 PM

Dried Tofu

  • j

Anyone know of this stuff? Even in Japan, it wasn't all that common, but once I tried it, I got hooked. Comes in a box and -- like a dehydrated sponge -- jumps alive when dropped in water. Also TASTED like a dehydrated sponge, but the taste grew on you. Basically, it was a little tougher than tofu, and soaked up 2 or 3 times as much garlic/sauce/whatever.

I have never seen it in any Japanese or Asian supermarket in the US. Nor is it popping up on sites like Ethnicgrocer.

Any leads?

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  1. Ask for "koyadoufu". It's freeze-dried, actually.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Maria Eng

      Hey thanks!! That looks like the stuff.

      Lots of web hits with "koya tofu" (none with the d actually), but they're all in Japan. I'll definitely throw the term at some native speaker next time I'm near a Japanese market, but assuming it has to be ordered, know any Stateside sources?

      Ethnicgrocer was a nogo, even armed with this newfound term.

      On ni kiru !!

      1. re: Jim Wong

        Yeah, if you can't find it locally you can have it delivered from the Maruwa online store (physical store in SF Japantown). It's in the online shopping section under dried foods (if you don't have Japanese fonts on your computer, just ignore the garbage characters), Misuzu brand "Freeze-dry Tofu (Koya Tofu) - 3.4 oz. for $3.49.

        I haven't used their online service as the store is local for me. Best of luck.



    2. Eden, a natural foods manufacturer specializing in macrobiotic items(i.e. health food that must come from Japan), makes a product called "snow-dried tofu" which fits your description pretty well. You can find it in any well-stocked health food store. Eden also carries the best dried seaweed (wakame and nori) I've ever tried.

      1. from what I've heard about the store, I'd be surprised if that massive Uwajimaya in Seattle didn't have freeze dried tofu.

        1. If what you're talking about is dried bean curd skin, it's in every Chinese market - in the dry goods section, in plastic bags about 8x11 in, looks like dried-out Chinese you tiao doughnuts, labeled bean curd sticks or something like that. If it's dried tofu squares, I've never seen it in 20+ years of haunting Asian markets, but would like to try it!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Susan Marme

            The spongy dried tofu we're talking about is actually dry-frozen, rather than freeze dried (a rather high-tech process where something is frozen, then flash dried under vacuum). They leave the tofu out to freeze at night, which I think breaks down the structure. During the day, when it warms up and the sun comes out, the liquid runs off and it dries. I tried that tofu once years ago, but it was too much like sponge rubber for me.
            Also, the Japanese make a sheet tofu they call yuba, a delicacy which I have never seen for sale around here. (A lot of things can't be bought in Maine.) I have seen something like that for sale in traditional Chinese markets, so if you're near a Chinatown you might look there.

            1. re: Katherine

              Then there's always home-frozen tofu; not dried and not like a sponge in taste, but with a different, chewy texture that soaks up flavors well. Freeze, thaw, squeeze out excess liquid, chop.

          2. In case anyone's still reading this thread...Is this the stuff that's called Thai tofu? (Which is much firmer and more compress than regular tofu). I've been looking for that stuff for years and have never found it. If this is the same stuff, let me know please!