March 8, 2010

Which to Use, Momen or Kinu/木綿と絹のどっちを使う?

Yesterday, I bought two packs of tofu, one momen (cotton) and one kinu (silken) (also called kinu goshi). Note that momen (cotton) cloth is actually used to make momen tofu, but silk cloth is not used to make silken tofu. Hot soy milk mixed with some coagulant (such as bittern) is strained through cotton cloth to make momen tofu while hot soy milk mixed with some coagulant is not strained to make kinu tofu. Kinu refers to the smooth texture of tofu made this way.
One thing I want to say about tofu is that it's a great source of protein. It's not a substitute for meat, and it deserves its own uses.
昨日は、豆腐を2パック買いました。木綿をひとつと絹(絹ごしとも)をひとつ。木綿の布は実際に木綿豆腐を使うのに使われますが、絹の布は絹ごし豆腐を作るのには使われません。凝固材(にがりなど)を混ぜた、暖かい豆乳を木綿の布で漉して木綿豆腐を作り、凝固材を混ぜた、暖かい豆乳を漉さずに絹豆腐を作ります。絹とは、このように作られた豆腐の滑らかな食感を表しています。
豆腐に関して言いたいことは、豆腐は素晴らしいタンパク源だということです。肉の代わりではなく、豆腐独特の使い方があります。
Left: Momen tofu
Right: Kinu goshi (or kinu) tofu
左: 木綿豆腐
右: 絹ごし(絹)豆腐

The weight of one "cho" of tofu varies from region to region. In Tokyo, it is 300-350 g, and here in Niigata, it is 350 to 400 g. The two packs of tofu above are heavier, 450 g each.
豆腐一丁の重さは地域により異なります。東京では、300~350 g、新潟では350~400 gです。この二つのパックはもっと重く、それぞれ450 gです。

My wife made mapo tofu (called "mabo dofu" in Japanese) for supper tonight. She asked me which of momen and kinu she should use. Momen is usually used to make mapo tofu, but some people like to use kinu for its smooth texture. After all, she used momen tofu.
今晩の夕食に妻は麻婆豆腐を作りました。私に木綿と絹のどちらを使おうか聞きました。普通は、麻婆豆腐を作るのには木綿を使いますが、滑らかな食感の絹を使うほうが好きな人もいます。結局、木綿豆腐を使いました。


Edited to add: I personally hate the stupid term, kinu goshi (lit. silk strained), which will make you mistakenly think that silk cloth is used to make kinu tofu. And, why do we say momen, instead of momen goshi? Sounds very illogical.
Anyway, tofu is a very interesting topic to discuss, and I'd like to talk about more in future posts.
追記: 個人的には「絹ごし」という馬鹿げた用語は好きではありません。絹豆腐を作るのに絹の布を使っていると間違って思ってしまいます。それに、何で「木綿ごし」と言わず、木綿というのでしょう?とても非論理的です。
ともかく、豆腐はとても興味深い話題なので、将来もっと語りたいと思います。

9 comments:

Jan said...

Mapo tofu is one of my favourite dishes!

Hiroyuki said...

Jan: Jan, thanks for your comment. Mapo tofu is a favorite of almost anyone, although the flavor and spiciness of mapo tofu vary greatly. I can't have authentic, very spicy mapo tofu!
I can make a non-spicy version, seasoned with sake, soy sauce, mirin, and ginger.

Amato said...

Hiro, did you ever try to make a tofu-miso "tsukemono"?
It is very tasty, like cheese!
Just put some good tofu (momen were better) in a container (cut tofu in 1 cm slices), cover bottom with miso you like (I use nice organic miso) and cover the tofu.
Let sit in refrigerator for 1-2 days or overnight. Very nice with some fresh veggies as okazu for gohan.Sometimes I make "sesame miso" with neri goma, and use it for tofu-tsukemono.
I have some nigari tofu coagulant at home and wanted to make my own fresh tofu next time.
I think most westerner people "problem" with tofu and seitan is to think about it as a substitute for meat.
But as you said, it is a food product with its own uses.
If you expect it to taste like meat or cheese you will be dissapoited.But if you use as own kind, great stuff.

How about seitan, do Japanese use it in kitchen? I think it is nama-fu, I`m not sure.

Hiroyuki said...

Amato: Unfortunately, no, I've never made tofu tsukemono. I'm a bit of a tofu "purist". My absolute favoriate is hiyayakko, that is, cold tofu with soy sauce and some garnish.

Seitan!? I have learned a new Japanese word from you (laugh)!
From Wikipedia:
In Japan, seasoned "gluten meat" (i.e. seitan, as cooked in the macrobiotic manner) is not well known or widely available, despite the macrobiotic diet's Japanese origins. When used, the terms for this food are rendered in katakana as グルテンミート (Romanized "gurutenmīto," from the English "gluten meat"), or, rarely, セイタン ("seitan"). Outside macrobiotic circles, these terms are virtually unknown in Japan, and they do not typically appear in Japanese dictionaries.

While seitan is virtually unknown to the Japanese, fu (wheat gluten) is widely known. Here in Niigata, kuruma fu (fu in the shape of a wheel) is very, very popular. In fact, it's an indispensable ingredient in zenmai (a type of wild edible plant) nimono.
I hope I can post about it some day.

Amato said...

Thank you for this useful information, I always wanted to ask you about seitan :-), because I never saw any recipes on Japanese web.
To see the kanji is great for me.

It would be very interesting to see some fu cooking on your blog,I dont know anything about it, only to put it into miso soup.
I have a question again: what exactly is nama-fu?
Raw seitan?
Because there are fu-mochi, and I want try (badly) I have a recipe.
:-)
PS. I’m "in" egullet forums, my application was successful. ;-)

Hiroyuki said...

Amato: Sorry for a late reply; I was very busy all day yesterday, preparing for the party I held last night. I still have a slight hangover... It's 8:57 in Japan right now.

I think you know more about nama-fu than I do (laugh). It's gluten, either boiled or steamed. Baked gluten is yaki-fu.

Are you "Amato" on eGullet?

Amato said...

Dear Hiroyuki,
Don’t worry about late answer, I also need sometimes little bit.

Yes, I’m Amato on egullet, I read right now a lot, don’t want to ask questions which were already answered.

David said...

I like the way Harumi Kurihara adds tofu to her miso soup. She just tears it into pieces with her fingers, kind of crumbling it. She also puts ground sesame seeds in her miso soup. Really good. Have you used her cook books? I have only tried a few recipes (tofu salad, chirashi zushi, carrot/tuna salad and macha gelatin) but everything has turned out good.

Hiroyuki said...

David: My wife once liked Kurihara, and often watched her on television, but not me.

I have some recipes of hers, which I made a note of from TV shows like "Hanamaru Market", but I haven't tried any of them yet.

It will be a good idea to try one of her recipes and show it in my blog.