Yuba. The film on top.
The Yuba experience.
The rectangular metal plan below contains a very fluid (having low viscosity if you will) liquid made from nigari (苦汁) and soybean milk, the same stuff that Tofu is made from. The yellow citrus on the right is a Yuzu.
The hotplate is heated slowly so that the liquid does not boil should rarely bubbles at all.
After it has heated for a while, a thin film will form on top of the liquid. This is called Yuba. You can work your chopsticks around the edge of the pan to break the film free of the sides. Then…
You gently pull up, and out comes the yuba! It’s very thin, so you can repeat the process more than a dozen times before you reach the end of the soybean milk and nigari. There were 6 of us at the restaurant, and we were able to enjoy the yuba right up to the end of our meal. It takes about 10-15 minutes to get another yuba film ready, so it serves as a way to pace the meal to let everyone enjoy the conversation. It’s really a great experience! Just don’t burn your wrist on the side of the pan while digging out the yuba… like I did.
You dip the yuba into a soy sauce, and fine grated yuzu peel before eating it.
Grating the yuzu is fun. As is pulling up the yuba. A fun and delicious meal! What more could you ask for?
Once you get near the end of the meal the waitress will usually come in to ask if you want to continue eating yuba right down to the bottom fo the pan, or if you want to turn the remaining yuba into tofu.
I’m actually not sure what is done to turn the remaining yuba mix into tofu. Maybe they add more nigari? Maybe they turn up the heat so it all solidifies? Maybe both? My wife doesn’t know either. I’m sure the internet does… But I’m too lazy to check
Places that serve Yuba will usually have an entire menu of yuba related items. The picture below is one of those, some Yuba soup.
Just curious, has anyone ever eaten Yuba outside of Japan?