Know About Yuba, A Staple In Asian Foods

You'll find yuba both fresh and dried—a it's staple in Asian cuisine. In fact, you can attempt to produce your own yuba by boiling soy milk for approximately 30 minutes and then allowing it to cool. You may either scrape out the film and let it dry for a few days after the proteins have linked together, or you can eat the tofu skin raw, which tastes like fresh cheese. Try spreading yuba on your toast or adding it to a bowl of steaming noodles. Think of it as the butter of soy milk. This meal resembling flan is known as namayuba in some parts of Japan, and it is treasured for the subtleties that each fresh taste of it exhibits.  

Yuba, a component of both Chinese and Japanese cuisine, is the name for dried tofu skin. Simply explained, this slightly buoyant and rubbery element that appears naturally on top of soy milk is composed of soy proteins that have coagulated. Because soy proteins have gathered to produce this special ingredient, fresh yuba resembles thinly sliced tofu in appearance but is firmer and more bouncy. The congealed top of simmering soy milk is customarily removed as the food is prepared and hung to dry. This could occur repeatedly in a single vat of heated soy milk, a byproduct of what will ultimately become tofu. The translation is hence "tofu skin." 


The name "yuba" is actually a Japanese expression, and according to legend, this food arrived in Kyoto and Shiga, Japan, from China some 1,200 years ago. This culinary item has a long history in Japanese culture and is still present in sho-jin dinners, which are special meals served to holy men. Although the priests consume a lot of yuba, the dish is still present in Chinese cuisine and is ingested in different ways across Japanese society. Jai, a vegetarian stew made for the Lunar New Year, is still popular, and when eating dim sum, you may have had a lot of the packed bean curd rolls, which frequently include a yuba. 

Another fascinating aspect of yuba is that, a few hundred years ago, Buddhist monks in China utilised it to create some of the first imitation meat items. To make yuba slices resemble pork sausages and dumplings, they packed them with yuba chunks that had been diced and seasoned. Nowadays, you can layer sheets of yuba to produce faux chicken, fold a mound of tofu skin to make meatless meatloaf, and wrap this meal around vegetables to fry as a delicious, umami-forward side for your vegetarian dinner. 


Given that it can travel to markets around the world and keeps longer, dried yuba is much more common. You must first dehydrate yuba before eating it, and you can then use it as the main protein or to provide a unique texture to soups and stews. Yuba is stir-fried with shrimp and veggies. For a dish that resembles pasta without the gluten, cut it thin like noodles. Even better, you can fry up slices of the stuff to serve as an accoutrement for other dipping dishes, garnish grilled salmon, or sprinkle into a salad. Even if the food doesn't have an Asian theme, yuba can really be added to virtually everything. 


Like tofu, yuba has a mild flavour that tends to acquire up characteristics from the foods it is cooked with. If you taste something raw, you will detect nutty and slightly sweet undertones, but the texture is what truly jumps out. If properly prepared, it will be flexible, soft, and pliable—almost like the outer skin of burrata or a tightly packed mozzarella ball. Fresh yuba can be consumed right out of the pot, but you will need to dehydrate it first if you want to taste the dried form. 

Dried yuba should be stored in your pantry in a dry, dark place like you would any noodle or grain. Depending on how quickly you intend to use it, store any fresh or dehydrated tofu skin in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will only be good in this state for a week or so.