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My love of Yuba

My love of Yuba began with a climb up mount Nasu in Nikko. My Tochigi students had told me about ‘Yuba’ before and, even though they had described it as being ‘the skin of Tofu’, which doesn’t sound too appetising, I was still pretty keen to see what all the fuss was about. And luckily, it was on the pre-hike menu.

What came out of the kitchen on that chilling November day was a beautiful steaming bowl of soupy soba with, some skin-reminiscent Yuba floating in it.

Yuba noodles

I immediately picked up a big slice and placed it to my lips, smelling the smoky sauce as it passed under my nose. As I began to chew, the juices the Yuba had absorbed flooded my mouth with an explosion of flavours, while the smooth texture of the Yuba floated over my tongue like silk. I picked up another piece but this time it was rolled up like a tiny swiss roll. Not only did these pieces seem to hold even more juice than the others, but they were also a lot of fun to watch unrolling.

My first experience of Yuba had me hooked, but unfortunately, it seems like a remarkably rare ingredient, popping up in only the strangest and most random of places.

I next saw Yuba in Kyoto, where it was fashioned into a doughnut.

Yuba doughnuts

I snatched one up, bit into it and allowed the hot warmth of the dough to consume me. That doughnut, although simple and plain and not coated in tonnes of sugar, was by bar one of the best, fluffiest little doughnuts I’ve ever tasted. In fact, it’s sparked an interest in finding Tofu cake recipes, which i’ve yet to try out. The texture was light and fluffy, it was not caked in sugar or oil and it had the most addictive nutty after taste that made it feel fresh and almost healthy.

Following this astonishing find, I later came across some Yuba in Ashikaga Flower park of all places. This time it was fried Yuba Manju and, while I love Yuba and Manju, the grease and deep fried coating seemed to make it lose almost all of its beautifully delicate taste.

 Yuba manjuYuba 4

Yuba is not massively popular in Japan right now, but it’s smooth, addictive, healthy and delightfully nutty. Give it a go!

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