Enormous Yuba

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An old workmate of mine who goes by the Twitter pseudonym of MerceDeath posted the following update yesterday:
("Enormous Yuba, Dammn~!")

You know how milk sometimes gets a skin on top when it's heated - well, Yuba is the skin skimmed off the top of hot soya milk, containing the soy proteins in a concentrated and easily digestible form. When served fresh it is warm, a little bit slippery-soft, chewy, and savoury and can be eaten plain with a light dipping sauce. When dried it can be used in dishes both sweet (e.g. a mille-feuille made with strawberries and papery flakes of yuba) and savoury (e.g. as dim sum wrapper).

Yuba is delightful.

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(By the way, the etymology of the name 'Yuba' seems strangely similar to the legend of Mapo Dofu: both are soy-derived dishes supposedly named after the skin conditions of kindly old ladies who offered the dishes to road-weary travelers. But the skin analogy is easier to understand in the case of Yuba than of Mapo Dofu, which consists of cubes of tofu simmered in spicy mince...)

I'm a big fan of Yuba, enormous or otherwise... and I trust the taste of MerceDeath. When we were colleagues, he told me he ate soymilk-nabe (hotpot) for dinner every single night, with or without kimchi flavouring. A true soymilk devotee. That's classy.

The key to his enormous yuba is simply to use a wide, shallow cooking surface: here's the recipe.

Basically you pour 400 ml of soymilk (unsweetened) onto a big flat electric hotplate surface with a rim such as the one below, and then heat it to 80℃. When a skin forms, you tug it off with chopsticks and eat it with a dipping sauce of your choice.

I'm not sure if making yuba in a fry pan would work just as well - I don't see why not? There must be some art to it, since most yuba is still made in Kyoto with what the Shunju cookbook calls 'time-consuming handwork'. Maybe the heat needs to be very even and the temperature very exact.
Using a fry pan, your yuba wouldn't be so enormous, either.

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    Hey Emma!
    I saw your article, it's interesting.
    Yes, yuba(and sake!) is great. Before I used nabe but hot plate is better. because it can keep good tempelature easier. I don't recommend to use fly pan : ) Because it will be too hot and dry. Then it will be like a crepe...
    Anyway, enjoy your yuba life!


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