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Japanese Food Article

    Yaki Tofu (焼き豆腐)

    Yaki Tofu

    Speaking of Japanese tofu, you may think of the common types such as firm (momen) tofu or silken (kinugoshi) tofu. However, have you ever heard of tofu that is often used in hot pot dishes such as sukiyaki? In this article, we would like to introduce yaki tofu (grilled tofu). Let’s find out its features, how to cook yaki tofu and where to buy delicious yaki tofu.

    What is Yaki Tofu?

    Yaki tofu (or grilled tofu) is tofu that has been grilled on both sides. Because silken tofu (or kinugoshi tofu) has a soft texture so it is not usually used for making grilled tofu. Instead, it is common to use firm (momen) tofu to make yaki tofu that you always see at covenience stores or supermarket. Yaki tofuf is hard and firm so it is less likely to fall apart compared to regular firm tofu and silken tofu.

    Because of its texture, it is used in various dishes such as sukiyaki, dengaku, simmered dishes, etc.


    The origin of tofu

    Tofu is believed to originate in the Tang dynasty between the 8th and 9th century. From China, tofu was introduced to Japan by monks during the Nara period (710-784). However, during this time, tofu was vegetarian food for monks, samurai and aristocrats only.

    It was not until the Edo period that tofu began to appear on the common’s meal. The type of tofu that was used during this time was momen tofu. After that, in 1691, silken tofu was invented by Tamaya Chubei.

    Appearance of grilled tofu’s dishes

    Nobody knows exactly when was yaki tofu born. A lot of people believe that after tofu became popular among the common, a lot of type of tofu had appeared.

    Dengaku is a dish of tofu that is cut into squares, skewered, and grilled with miso paste. It is said that the name comes from the fact that its shape resembles the figure of Dengaku Hoshi, who danced during rice planting to pray for a good harvest. “O” is added to “Dengaku” and it became “Oden”. 

    Dengaku was the favourite dish of many common people during the Edo period. However, because its cooking method takes time and effort, many people tried to find other way and dish to make it easier. Now that everything is becoming convenient, it is much more easier to enjoy grilled tofu by buying it at supermarkets. Thanks to this, it is now one of the most common ingredients used in simmered dishes that you can enjoy at home!

    Recipes using yaki tofu

    Teritami-yaki tofu

    With this dish, you can pan-fry tofu in a frying pan with teriyaki sauca and top with egg yolk. Sake will raise the sweet and salty taste of the dish. Finally, garnish with green onions and enjoy the amazing taste!

    Meat-wrapped tofu

    With this dish, you wrap the beef meat outside of the yaki tofu and then grill in a frying pan with sweep and spicy sauce. With this dish, you can enjoy the combination of meat and tofu without simmering. Instead of sweet and spicy sauce, you can also mix your favourite sauce and grill with the meat-wrapped tofu.


    Sukiyaki is a classic Japanese dish that uses grilled tofu. You can easily make this dish at home with basic ingredients and soup base. Follow our recipe here for the most delicious recipe of sukiyaki!

    Clams with yaki tofu

    A simmered dish in which the umami of clams is fully saturated with vegetables and grilled tofu. The mild and freshing taste of the dish really helps relax your mind and body.

    Health info

    Calories and nutrients per 100g of yaki tofu
    Calories 82kcal
    Lipid 5.7g
    Protein 7.8gr
    Carbohydrates 1g
    Salt 0g
    Sugar 0.5g
    Dietary fiber 0.5g
    Vitamins and minerals
    Potassium 90mg
    Calcium 150mg
    Magnesium 37mg
    Iron 1.6mg
    Vitamin E 0.2mg
    Vitamin B1 0.07mg
    Vitamin B2 0.03mg
    Vitamin B6 0.05mg

    Yaki Tofu FA

    Firm tofu and silken tofu: which is used to make Yaki tofu?

    Momen tofu (or firm tofu) is the main ingredient of yaki tofu. The reason why kinugoshi tofu is not used in yaki tofu is because of its soft and silk-like texture.

    Why Japanese usually use yaki tofu for sukiyaki?

    Yaki tofu is grilled tofu made from tofu. It has firm texture that does not easily to fall apart so it is favourite ingredient in sukiyaki and other simmered dishes.

    How to make yaki tofu?


    Ingredients (for 1 block)
    Firm Tofu1
    Salad oilmoderate amount

    For firm tofu, you can buy the packed tofu at supermarkets or convenience stores. However, you can also try making it at home using our recipe here.

    How to make yaki tofu?

    Heating tofu in the microwave

    For firm tofu, you can easily buy it at any supermarket. However, remember to buy the right type of tofu – firm (or momen) tofu, not silken tofu! Wrap tofu with two sheets of kitchen paper and put it in a heat-resistant container, heat in a microwave at 500W for 2-3 minutes.

    Pan-frying the tofu
    Add salad oil

    Put the salad oil into the pan. Remember to add moderate amount and avoid too much oil in the pan.

    Grill two sides of tofu

    After the oil is hot enough, slowly grill the surface of the tofu for 3 minutes on medium heat. Then gently turn over and grill the same way to the other side of tofu.


    This is how you make the delicious yaki tofu! After it is finished, you can use it to make sukiyaki or simmered dishes, etc.

    Tips for grilling tofu

    Although the firm texture of momen tofu, it is easy to fall apart while being grilled in the frying pan. Then, how to avoid this? The key is to thoroughly drain tofu before cooking and try not to touch the tofu with chopsticks while grilling. o drain the water from tofu, you can heat it in the microwave for 3 minutes (500W). Another way is to boil tofu for about 5 minutes, then put it into a colander to drain the water. Beside, the most common method is to press the tofu: wrap it in a dish towel and then place a heavy object on top to press out the excess water.

    Restaurants/ Stores

    Iriyama Tofu (入山豆腐店)

    Yaki Tofu

    Iriyama Tofu is a tofu store made with old-fashioned oven. We are living in the time when all kinds of tofu are sold all year round. Meanwhile, Iriyama Tofu only makes silken tofu in the summer and grilled tofu in fall and winter. At Iriyama, you can not only enjoy the delicious taste of tofu but also the old and traditional atmosphere that this store gives off. You can use yaki tofu to simmer in soup or simmer with fish, sweet potato, etc. If you get a chance to go to Kyoto, why not visiting Iriyama?!

    Address: 347 Higashiuoya-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
    Phone number: 075‐241‐2339
    Business hours: 9:30-18:00
    (close on Monday and Sunday)

    Kyuzaya (久在屋)

    Yaki Tofu

    This is a tofu store with 100% domestically produced soybeans. This store has all kinds of tofu for you to choose, from basic tofu such as momen tofu or kinugoshi tofu to deep-fried tofu and gift sets. There is not only tofu but also other products like soy milk, tofu sauce, etc. You can go directly to the store in Kyoto or visit their website to buy it online. The payment and shipping method is all written on the website so let’s visit their site and find your favourite tofu!

    Address: 132 Nishikyogoku Kitaoiricho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
    Phone number: 0120075938
    Business hours: 10:00-18:00

    Irori Sanzoku (いろり山賊 )

    Yaki Tofu

    This is not a specialized tofu store but a restaurant famous for its sanzoku-yaki, sanzoku-udon, etc. Beside this popular dishes, it also offer yaki tofu for you to enjoy. There are two stores: Kuga and Nishiki store. Do not miss the chance to visit Irori Sanzoku to enjoy the traditional Japanese atmosphere!

    Address: 1380-1 Kugacho, Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi
    Phone number: 0827823115
    Business hours: 10:00-23:00
    (close on Tuesday)


    Other from common types of tofu, yaki tofu is popular in so many Japanese dishes. Method of making yaki tofu is not very difficult so you can try making it at home. With grilled tofu, you can not only make sukiyaki but can also use your creativity to make various simmered and stir-fried dishes. Let yaki tofu become one of the indispensable ingredients in your everyday’s meal!

    Check out below to find out more about tofu and delicious Japanese dishes using tofu!

    Yaki Tofu

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