Yuba, or bean curd skin, refers to the film that forms atop soy milk when it is heated.
Tofu skin (or foo chok) which are sold as dried leaves or sheets, is quite a common ingredient here. I’ve added it to soups and canned sardines. However, I’d not tried fresh tofu skin, or yuba, until I visited Nikkō, a city almost a 2 hour train ride from Tokyo.
Walking through the streets of Nikkō, most of the eateries featured yuba, as it is the city’s local delicacy. There was deep-fried yuba, yuba sushi, yuba gyoza, yuba burgers, Japanese curry with yuba, yuba with jelly, yuba soup, yuba-don, and yuba cream inside rice cookies!
Our primary destination that day was Nikkō Tōshō-gū, a well-known Shinto shrine located in the city. But before heading there, we wanted to give yuba a try, so we started looking around for a legit-looking restaurant that served it and that’s how we ended up in 神橋庵 (which Google translate tells me is Ryo Takahashi), a soba noodle shop, along the main street.
We were lucky to have found a seat in the restaurant when we did because just as we entered, it had begun to rain and tourists looking for shelter started queuing to get in.
Like most restaurants who relied on income from tourists, they had an English menu and we ordered a yuba appetiser and two bowls of yuba soba (hehe it rhymes).
I expected yuba to taste strongly of soy milk but I was pleasantly surprised that it just had a clean and nondescript flavour. Dipping it into the sauce that accompanied the appetiser added to the dish and the pickled daikon radish on the side suited it well. We polished off everything we ordered in no time at all! Yes, the yuba was yummy!
A quick search revealed that there are plenty of recipes detailing how to make your own yuba, which is good since I have no idea when I’ll be able to reach the city of Nikkō again.
Are you a fan of tofu? If yes, what’s your favourite tofu dish?