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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Tofu, Natto & Konnyaku, Acquired Taste Super Foods

Aloha Everyone,

Let me introduce 3 typical Japanese foods all which are considered "Super Foods."

Tofu - I love Tofu or bean curd. It is made by coagulating milk made of soybeans. The product is then pressed to form soft white block of curds. There are different textures of tofu from silky light to firm and heavy.  An excellent source of vegetable protein, tofu has very subtle flavor that can be used in an assortment of dishes. One of my favorite ways to eat tofu is to bring a block to a boiling point then eat it with pesto.

Nattō - is fermented soybeans with Bacillus subtilis. This is definitely an acquired taste. With a distinctive smell and sticky, slimy texture, nattō is one product J.J. stays far away. If you stay in hotels in Japan, with Japanese breakfast, you will always see a styrofoam cup of nattō. I know of a German woman who resides in Japan loves nattō sandwich using dense German bread. I consume the product whenever it is available telling myself it is good for me!

Konnyaku - also known as shirataki is a traditional food of Japan. This product is made from Konnyaku potato and oxide calcium extracted from eggshells. Rubbery texture traditionally gray in color, though now you can find white versions, is not appealing to eyes and taste bud. It definitely does not induce appetite. A number of renowned western nutritionists have recently been promoting konnyaku. I dice a block of it, then stir-fry it with shallots until the latter is golden brown. Add about 3 cups of fresh chopped kale and cook until the kale is soft.  Squeeze lemon to taste.


Aloha -- Cathi