Kumiage Yuba and Yuba Donburi 汲み上げ湯葉 湯葉どんぶり
We were given a gift of kumiage yuba from a yuba company up in Otsu recently and made donburi with it on Peko’s famous rice. Simply flavored with soy sauce and wasabi, this is veg, healthy, and not just tasty, but creamy tasty! Have you heard of yuba?
Yuba is made by simmering a large vat of tonyu 豆乳, or soy milk. As water evaporates, every minute or so, a film develops on the surface of the tonyu which is lifted off. This is yuba and it can be dried or eaten as is, fresh. If you like tofu and soy milk, you would surely love fresh yuba!
Yuba started out centuries ago as temple food in Kyoto but is now enjoyed by common people and is gaining popularity all over Japan because it is tasty and healthy.
Itadakimono: Kumiage Yuba
I had a chance to do a yuba making study/experience, called kengaku 見学, in Japanese at a shinise yuba company, Hiei Yuba in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, on the southern shore of Lake Biwa. Otsu is just over the mountain from Kyoto, and though a rather small town compared to Kyoto, it has a history that is a bit longer than Kyoto. In fact, it was the capital of Japan, just briefly, even before Kyoto was. We’ve got an article simmering about yuba kengaku coming your way soon, but until then, please just feast your eyes on this.
One of our friends that works at Hiei Yuba came to Kyoto Takashimaya for a week to sell their yuba at a demise. We met for dinner in the evening and were given a package of fresh, kumiage yuba.
This is four or five ‘sheets’ of yuba swimming in soy milk.
Gokokumai Mugi Gohan: Ingredients
Peko’s Gokokumai Mugi Gohan Recipe
- Short grain rice 2 cups
- Oshi Mugi (rolled oats, for Japanese mugi-gohan) 1/2 cup
- Gokokumai (5 grains) 1 pack, about 25-30g
- Kombu (dried kelp)
- Salt and Sake to taste
Add the amount of water based on the instructions of your rice cooker.
Five kinds of ‘bird seed’ added to your rice makes it much more flavorful and healthy.
Gokokumai Mugi Gohan: Just Done Cooking
Discard the kombu after cooking.
Gokokumai Mugi Gohan: Served
Five kinds of grain (gokoku), rolled oats (mugi) and Japanese short-grain rice: yum!
Making the Donburi
Making the donburi is really simple. Just serve rice in a large donburi bowl, place yuba on top and add wasabi and soy sauce. (I think) to be photogenic, we didn’t add any of the soy milk that can be seen in the photo in the plate above. Be sure to add it though, it will be more creamy.
Last step: Devour
Yuba Donburi: Served
Yuba Donburi – detail with Shoyu and Wasabi
Yuba Donburi: Looks Like this While Eating
Miwa didn’t want me to include this photo, but she’s not here now and this is what it looks like as you eat it.