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Tofu Skin or Yuba: What is It and Where Did It Come From?

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Tofu skin is a versatile ingredient with great potential.

Tofu skin is a thin, edible sheet made from soy milk. It is used in Chinese cuisine and is often used as a wrapper for dim sum dishes.

In this blog post, I’ll explore what tofu skin is, its nutritional benefits, and how to use it in your cooking. Read on to learn more about this unique ingredient!

What is tofu skin

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What is tofu skin?

Tofu skin, also known as yuba, is a food product made from the thin film that forms on the surface of boiled soy milk.

It is a traditional food in East Asian cuisine and is made by heating soy milk and skimming off the film that forms on the surface. The film is then dried and formed into sheets or sticks.

Tofu skin is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

It can be used as a wrap for other ingredients, such as vegetables, or it can be used as a substitute for meat in dishes such as stir-fries.

It can also be used to make soups and stews or be deep-fried and served as a snack.

Tofu skin is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It is a healthy choice for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle, and it is a good source of protein, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

What does tofu skin taste like?

Tofu skin, also known as yuba, is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It has a mild, nutty flavor that is slightly sweet and savory.

The texture is chewy and crunchy, depending on how it is cooked.

Tofu skin has a subtle nutty flavor from the soybeans it is made from.

The flavor of tofu skin can be enhanced by adding other ingredients such as garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili sauce.

These ingredients add a depth of flavor to the tofu skin, making it more flavorful and exciting.

Tofu skin can also be used as a meat substitute in stir-fries, soups, and salads. The texture and flavor of the tofu skin make it a great meat substitute.

It can be used to add texture and flavor to dishes without additional fat or calories.

What is the origin of tofu skin?

Tofu skin, also known as yuba, is a traditional food product enjoyed in East Asia for centuries. It is believed to have been invented in China during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD).

Making tofu skin involves boiling soy milk until a thin film forms on the surface. This film is then carefully removed and dried.

Tofu skin was initially used as a way to preserve soy milk for extended periods. It was also used as a substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes.

Over the years, tofu skin has become a popular ingredient in many dishes. It is used as a wrapper for dumplings, topping for noodles, and filling for spring rolls.

In Japan, tofu skin is often served in sweet syrup, while in China it is often served with a savory sauce.

It is served as a side dish with vegetables and meat in Korea. In recent years, tofu skin has also become popular in Western countries, where it is often used as a vegan alternative to cheese.

Tofu skin has been an important part of East Asian cuisine for centuries. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes and is a great source of plant-based protein.

As its popularity continues to grow, tofu skin is sure to remain a staple in East Asian cuisine for many years to come.

How to cook with tofu skin

Tofu skin is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes. When cooking with tofu skin, it is important to understand how to prepare and cook it properly. 

First, you should rinse the tofu skin in cold water to remove any dirt or impurities.

Once the tofu skin is clean, you can cut it into thin strips or cubes. This will help the tofu skin to cook evenly and absorb the dish’s flavors.

When cooking with tofu skin, it is important to note that it does not need to be cooked for very long. In fact, it should only be cooked for a few minutes, otherwise, it can become tough and chewy.

It is best to add the tofu skin towards the end of the cooking process.

When adding the tofu skin to a dish, it is important to note that it will absorb the dish’s flavors but doesn’t have much flavor of its own.

Therefore, adding it to dishes with strong flavors, such as curries, stir-fries, and soups is best.

Finally, it is important to note that tofu skin can be used as a garnish or topping for dishes. It can add texture and flavor to dishes, such as salads, noodles, and rice dishes.

How to store tofu skin

Storing tofu skin is a great way to enjoy the unique texture and flavor of this traditional Asian food. There are several different ways to store tofu skin, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

How long can you keep tofu skin in the fridge?

The most common way to store tofu skin is in the refrigerator. To do this, simply place the tofu skin in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. This method is ideal for those who plan to use the tofu skin within a few days.

How long can you keep tofu skin in the freezer?

Freezing is another great way to store tofu skin. To do this, wrap the tofu skin in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container before placing it in the freezer. This method will keep the tofu skin fresh for up to three months.

Can you vacuum seal tofu skin?

Vacuum sealing is a great way to store tofu skin for longer periods of time. To do this, place the tofu skin in a vacuum-sealed bag and store it in the freezer. This method will keep the tofu skin fresh for up to six months.

Can you dry tofu skin?

Drying is a traditional method of preserving tofu skin. To do this, spread the tofu skin on a baking sheet and place it in a warm, dry place for several days. Once the tofu skin is completely dry, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a year.

Regardless of your chosen method, it is important to remember that tofu skin should always be stored in an airtight container to prevent spoilage.

With proper storage, you can enjoy the unique flavor and texture of tofu skin for months to come.

What to eat tofu skin with

Tofu skin is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It can be used as a wrap for savory fillings, as a crunchy topping for salads, or as a flavorful addition to stir-fries.

Here are a few ideas on how to use tofu skin in your cooking.

For a light lunch or dinner, try wrapping tofu skin around a filling of cooked vegetables, such as bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions.

Add some herbs and spices for extra flavor. You can also use tofu skin as a wrap for sushi, adding a layer of flavor and texture to the dish.

Tofu skin can also be used as a crunchy topping for salads. Try adding it to a bed of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers. The tofu skin will add a nice crunch to the salad and a bit of flavor.

Add some tofu skin to the mix for a quick and easy stir-fry. The tofu skin will add a nice texture to the dish and help thicken the sauce.

Add some vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, onions, and some seasonings for extra flavor.

Tofu skin can also be used as a crunchy topping for soups and stews. Add some to a bowl of miso soup or a hearty beef stew for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Finally, tofu skin can be used as a crunchy topping for desserts. Try adding it to a bowl of ice cream or a slice of cake for a unique and flavorful treat.

These are just a few ideas for using tofu skin in your cooking. With creativity, you can come up with many more delicious ways to enjoy this versatile ingredient.

Dim Sum

Dim sum is a traditional Chinese cuisine that is served in small portions. It is typically served in steamer baskets or small plates. Dim sum is often served with tea and is usually shared among a group of people.

One of the most popular dishes served as dim sum is tofu skin. Tofu skin is made from cooked soybeans and then pressed into thin sheets.

The sheets are then cut into small pieces and served with a variety of sauces. The texture of tofu skin is similar to that of a crepe or a thin pancake.

It is often served with a variety of vegetables, meats, and seafood. Tofu skin is a popular choice for dim sum because of its light and delicate flavor.

Inari Sushi

Inari sushi is a type of sushi that is made with sweetened, vinegared rice and is typically filled with vegetables, and other ingredients. The wrapper of this type of sushi isn’t nori seaweed, but with a thin sheet of soybean curd that is cut into small pieces and then fried.

The fried tofu skin is then used to wrap the sushi ingredients. The tofu skin adds a crunchy texture to the sushi and helps keep the ingredients together.

Vegetarian tofu skin

Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice that involves abstaining from eating meat and animal products.

Vegetarians often rely on plant-based proteins such as tofu, tempeh, and seitan to get their daily protein needs.

Tofu skin is a popular choice for vegetarians because it is a high-protein, low-fat food option. Tofu skin is made from soybeans that are cooked and then pressed into thin sheets.

The sheets are then cut into small pieces and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Tofu skin is often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes such as stir-fries, soups, and salads. It is also a popular choice for making vegetarian sushi rolls.

Compare tofu skin

Tofu skin vs tofu

Tofu skin and tofu have many differences in terms of taste, origin, and uses. Tofu skin, also known as yuba, is a thin, edible film made from the protein-rich coagulant used to make tofu. It has a mild, nutty flavor and a chewy texture. In contrast, tofu is a soft, custard-like food made from curdled soy milk. It has a mild, slightly sweet taste and a creamy texture.

In terms of origin, tofu skin is made from the same coagulant used to make tofu, but it is made by skimming off the thin film that forms on the surface of boiled soy milk. Tofu, on the other hand, is made from curdled soy milk.

In terms of uses, tofu skin is often used as a wrap or wrapper for other foods, such as dumplings or spring rolls. It can also be deep-fried, stir-fried, or added to soups and stews.

Tofu, on the other hand, is often used as a substitute for meat in dishes such as stir-fries, curries, and casseroles. It can also be used in desserts, such as puddings and custards.

Tofu skin vs yuba

Tofu skin is also known as yuba, which is the thin film that forms on the surface of boiled soy milk. It is a by-product of the production of tofu and is made from the same ingredients. It has a chewy texture and a mild flavor, and is often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes.

Is tofu skin healthy?

Tofu skin is a healthy food for many reasons. It is low in calories, contains no cholesterol, and is high in protein and dietary fiber.

It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Additionally, tofu skin contains isoflavones, which have been linked to various health benefits.

Tofu skin is a good source of healthy fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats can help reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

Additionally, the isoflavones in tofu skin may help reduce inflammation, which can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Tofu skin is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. This can help reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.

Overall, tofu skin is a healthy food that can be eaten regularly. It is low in calories, contains no cholesterol, and is high in protein and dietary fiber.

FAQ about tofu skin

What is the skin of tofu called?

The skin of tofu is also known as the tofu rind or tofu wrapper or yuba in Japanese. It is the thin, papery layer that forms on the outside of the tofu block. It is usually removed before cooking or eating but can also be consumed.

Can you eat tofu skin raw?

Yes, you can eat tofu skin raw. It has a slightly chewy texture and is often used as a wrap for sushi or other dishes. It is also sometimes used as a garnish or topping for salads. However, it is important to note that raw tofu skin may contain bacteria, so it is important to make sure that it is properly washed and cooked before consuming.

Is tofu skin complete protein?

Yes, tofu skin is a complete protein. It contains all of the essential amino acids needed for the body to function properly.

Is tofu skin fried?

Tofu skin is often fried. It is often used as a wrap for fried foods such as spring rolls or tempura. It can also be deep-fried or pan-fried for a crispy texture. But there are various dishes where it isn’t fried.

Is tofu skin processed food?

Yes, tofu skin is considered processed food. It is made by pressing soybeans into a block and then removing the thin, papery layer that forms on the outside. This layer is then dried and sold as a food product. But there aren’t many additives.

Conclusion

I highly recommend trying tofu skin for yourself. It has a unique flavor and texture that you won’t find in other dishes.

Plus, it’s a great way to add a little variety to your meals. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed!

Tofu skin “yuba” benefits, nutritional content, and how to make it

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more

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Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

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Tofu skin is a popular ingredient, side dish, and snack in many Asian countries.

Not only is it delicious, but tofu skin is also packed with protein, antioxidants, minerals, and other nutrients. So if you’re wondering, “does tofu have protein,” then the answer is “yes, and even more goodies!”

This soy-based food product can be bought in markets and grocery stores.

How to use tofu skin

But if you cannot find any, you can also make it in the comfort of your home.

In this post, I’ll walk you through everything that you need to know about tofu skin, from its health benefits to how you can make it at home!

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All the tips you'll need to get started in Japanese cooking with, for a limited time, free as our first email: The Complete Japanese With Ease Cookbook.

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What is tofu skin?

Tofu skin is a food product made from soya beans or soybeans. It comes in many different names like yuba (Japanese) and bean curd sheet.

However, since many refer to Japanese as the French of Asia, in many Asian restaurant menus, you’re more likely to encounter yuba instead of tofu skin.

Tofu skin is the coagulated proteins that form on top of soy milk as it’s boiled and concentrated. The film is skimmed off in sheets and is hung to drip-dry.

Tofu skin is called “yuba”, and yuba is often sold in three forms: fresh, dried, and frozen.

Fresh yuba, also called “nama yuba” in Japan, can be eaten fresh with other dishes or on its own. It goes well with a little soy sauce or with wasabi and ginger.

Dried tofu skin, also known as “kanso yuba” in Japan and “fuzhu” in China, is commonly sold in sticks. This tofu skin type should be rehydrated first before you can cook or serve it.

Last but not least is the frozen yuba. It has a rubbery texture and can be eaten or served like fresh tofu skin when thawed.

Now that you know some basic knowledge about tofu skin, let us discuss how to make it at home, as well as its nutritional content and health benefits.

How to make tofu skin at home

Making tofu skin at home is relatively easy. You don’t need any fancy cookware or ingredients at all.

In fact, all you need is water, pure soy milk, and a bunch of extra-long chopsticks.

The key ingredient in making tofu skin is soy milk. You can use any of the unsweetened organic soy milk in your local grocery store.

Always go for the purest soy milk available in the market. That is the no artificial color, flavor, or other ingredient soy milk.

How to make your own soy milk

On the other hand, you can also make your own soy milk.

Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

  1. Grab some non-GMO soybeans.
  2. Place your beans in a strainer and wash them thoroughly.
  3. Once you’re done washing your soybeans, place them in a sealable container and soak them in filtered water for 8 hours to overnight.
  4. After soaking your beans, remove the water and wash them again a few times.
  5. Put your beans in a blender or food processor and add water. The ratio of water to soybeans should be 1 to 1 (e.g. 1 cup of water to a cup of soybeans).
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Transfer your pureed soybeans to a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and squeeze the milk out into a bowl.
  8. In a large saucepan, bring your soy milk to a boil for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Strain your soy milk using a cheesecloth to make sure that all remaining solids are removed.

You now have your own homemade soy milk!

How to make your own tofu skin

Now, let’s move on to making tofu skin.

For this, you’ll need some extra-long chopsticks, your soymilk, and water.

Here are the steps:

  1. Pour 6 cups of water into a large saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Place a non-stick pan on top of the saucepan. This is where we’ll simmer the soy milk.
  3. Pour soy milk into your non-stick pan.
  4. Wait for the soy protein to coagulate and form a film.
  5. Once the soymilk surface is covered by coagulated protein, gently free its edges that are sticking to the pan by using a chopstick.
  6. Hold together 2 extra-long chopsticks and dip them into the soy milk from the side of the pan, going beneath the film. Make sure that your sticks are longer than the diameter of your saucepan.
  7. Keep your 2 chopsticks together while scooping the film up gently.
  8. While the film is hanging on top of the saucepan, slowly release your hold on the other stick, rolling it down to remove excess liquid.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully made your tofu skin.

If you want some dried yuba, let your sheets of tofu skin drip dry overnight. Otherwise, you can serve and eat them fresh!

Tofu skin roll recipe

Joost Nusselder
In this section, I'll teach you how to make the popular Asian dish, tofu skin roll.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For the filling, you'll need:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • ½ lb prawns shelled and chopped
  • 8 ounce sliced bamboo shoots
  • 2 spring onions minced (white part only)
  • 2 cm grated ginger
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 3 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp light soy
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 large egg beaten

For the sauce, you'll need:

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp Chinese cooking wine
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 3 tbsp corn flour

Instructions
 

  • Put all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix them together.
  • Get a sheet of fresh tofu skin and place it on a flat surface. If you're using dried tofu skin, make sure that you rehydrate it. Wipe any excess liquid or salt from its surface.
  • Put around 3 tablespoons of the filling near the edge of the sheet closest to you. Fold the sides of the tofu skin, then roll it over.
  • Roll until you form a cylinder that's about 4 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. Wet the edge using water or egg white, then stick it to the surface of the roll, securing it.
  • This recipe will let you make 10 to 15 rolls, depending on your desired roll size.
  • Shallow fry your tofu skin rolls until golden brown. After frying, place your rolls in a strainer or paper towel to get rid of excess oil. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, sauté ginger and garlic in cooking oil for a minute.
  • Add the chicken stock, Chinese cooking wine, and white pepper.
  • In a cup, mix the corn flour with a few tablespoons of the chicken stock. Mix until solution is smooth, then add it to the sauce.
  • Bring your sauce to a boil and wait for it to thicken.
  • Arrange your tofu skin rolls in a shallow bowl. Pour some of the sauce over, cover, and steam in medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes.

Video

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You’ll need some fresh bean curd or tofu sheets for this, so the Wing Fung Hong brand is great for this.

Tofu skin: nutritional content

Soybean is popular for its nutritional content, and so are other soy-based products, including tofu skin.

Tofu skin is rich in protein and low in fat. You can get around 50g of protein per 100-gram serving of yuba. That’s double the amount of protein that you can get from a 100-gram serving of meat!

Tofu skin is also low in carbohydrates. A 100-gram serving only contains about 7 grams of carb.

Aside from high protein, low fat, and low carbohydrate content, tofu skin is also packed with the following vitamins:

  • Vitamin A
  • Thiamine
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B6

Yuba is also rich in minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

You can use canned bamboo shoots, they’re already cooked and ready to use.

Tofu skin: health benefits

Tofu skin is a soy food. According to research, soy foods (including tofu skin) have a range of health benefits.

Here are some of them.

Also, you should note that while tofu and other soy-based products were thought to increase your breast cancer risk, science has proved otherwise. It’s safe to eat a moderate amount.

On the other hand, eating tofu skin and other soy isoflavones can increase your chance of prostate cancer.

Lowering risk of heart disease

Like other soy foods, tofu skin can lower your risk of acquiring cardiovascular diseases.

Studies have shown that soy foods can lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. In fact, clinical studies revealed that 14 to 50 grams of soy protein can reduce cholesterol levels significantly.

Note that a 100-gram serving of tofu skin already contains 50 grams of soy protein!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also discovered that taking 25 grams of soy protein while on a low saturated fat diet every day can lower your LDL cholesterol levels by up to 3-4%.

Reducing menopause symptoms

Soy foods also contain a high concentration of isoflavones, a plant-based estrogen (phytoestrogen) compound that functions similarly to the estrogen women produce naturally.

This phytoestrogen compound is also present in tofu skin. According to research, the isoflavones found in soy foods can help reduce menopausal symptoms.

So, if you’re a woman in your late 40s, eating tofu skin and other soy foods will help you control or minimize hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

Skincare

Isoflavones and other antioxidants present in tofu skin and other soy foods are also proven to be good for our skin.

Including tofu skin or other soy-based food in your diet can help keep your skin moisturized. It can also reduce the signs of aging in your skin.

The vitamin E in tofu skin can help maintain your skin’s radiance and natural glow. It can also make it look firmer and younger.

Other health benefits

Aside from the key benefits I mentioned above, here are other health benefits that you can get out of tofu skin:

  • Improve bone health
  • Strengthen blood vessels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower risk of cancer
  • Help with weight loss by keeping you fuller for longer
  • Improve memory and brain health
  • Improve brain cognitive function
  • Reduce insulin resistance (lower risk of type 2 diabetes)

Would you rather eat just tofu? Find 3 delicious vegetarian and vegan Teppanyaki tofu recipes here!

Give tofu skin a try

Now you know how to make tofu skin and all the wonderful health benefits that come with it. So why not give it a try? It’s a nice change from tofu, after all!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.