Tofu, the bean paste meat replacement, is enjoyed and appreciated by people all over the world. For vegans and vegetarians, it is the perfect way to be able to avoid eating meat while still getting enough protein in the diet. Tofu has been around for centuries as a traditional eastern dish.
Tofu can be prepared in a variety of delicious ways and can be placed in so many dishes that it is the perfect filler. National Tofu Day aims to celebrate the creativity that tofu incites in people and celebrate its long history as a beloved dish by many.
For those who don’t think they are really fans of tofu (because, honestly, the name “bean curd” isn’t doing anyone any favors), this would be the perfect day to try it – or try it again.
So get some tofu on that plate and get ready for National Tofu Day!
History of National Tofu Day
Tofu is considered to be an essential part of the diets of people in a variety of different cultures, especially in the Eastern Asian diets. Having much the same importance as meat, milk, and cheese, tofu is undoubtedly a staple. Although it might be newer on the scene in the West, the earliest recordings of tofu were in 900 AD, most significantly in Japan.
Tofu, a word literally meaning bean curd, has been called numerous names in the Chinese and Japanese languages, some meaning “morning prayer” and other interesting cultural references. It wasn’t until the 1800s when English-speaking translations of cookbooks came around that the term tofu was used. Then, later on down the road when the meat substitute really began to gain popularity in the West, cookbooks in the 1970s began using the term Tofu as its official name.
After being passed down through thousands of generations, Tofu today has become an iconic food and healthy alternative, particularly for those who wish to live a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Tofu can be prepared in numerous ways, and in Japan, each province has its own way of preparing tofu individual to its local culture. This soybean creation is loved by many people, as long as they know how to use it well.
National Tofu Day aims to celebrate the long and intricate history of tofu, and showcase how it has influenced cultures everywhere. National Tofu Day is celebrated on this day each year all over the world as one of the most versatile and nutritious foods on the planet!
How to Celebrate National Tofu Day
On National Tofu Day, people go out of their way to eat tofu and get creative with their cuisine by adding tofu to any dish. It’s fun and easy to try something new with tofu, or to go back to a well-known and appreciated standard recipe. Try out these ideas for paying homage to this versatile and amazing food on National Tofu Day:
Try Making Dishes with Tofu at Home
Tofu can be used in so many dishes, so one of the best things you can do on this day is to look up recipes involving tofu and give it a try! Try a hand at making pad thai, bibimbap, tikka masala, and soba salad with tofu.
Get Creative with Tofu Dishes
The problem some people have with tofu is that they think of it only in one way: chunks of a slightly soft and slimy substance. But it doesn’t have to be that way! The complete versatility of tofu means that it can be cooked (and even baked) into a wide variety of dishes that will enhance and complement the flavors.
Try these interesting ideas for creative ways to use tofu at home:
- Vegan Creamed Spinach. For those who have chosen a healthier, more earth-friendly vegan lifestyle, they may be missing out on some favorite dairy dishes. Tofu is a great way to bring those favorites back by using a tofu cream cheese substitute.
- Vegetarian Taco Bowls. Tofu isn’t just for Asian type foods! Try substituting the meat from tacos with tofu and create a whole new style of food.
- Crispy Tofu with Maple Soy Glaze. Tofu doesn’t need to be soft! Change the texture by draining it and then cooking it in hot oil. Drizzle with glaze and garnish with scallions.
Host a National Tofu Day Party or Gathering
For those who are looking for something to do closer to home, then celebrate National Tofu Day by hosting a party with all tofu dishes. Invite friends and family to the celebration and help them learn more about the benefits tofu can offer. Plus, if they are a little skittish, this is a great opportunity to open their minds about the way tofu can really be very delicious.
Take a Trip to Japan for National Tofu Day
Those who truly want to experience tofu in all of its glory should head on over to Japan, where tofu started. In the midst of various tourism activities, take the opportunity to try some delicious tofu dishes on the eastern side of the world.
Between the bamboo forests, cutting edge skyscrapers, and placid religious temples, Japan is a place like no other. And because they invented tofu, they also know how to make it better than almost any other place on earth. Try out these Tokyo restaurants for some excellent tofu dishes:
- Asakusa Hamasei Tofu Kawakaze. Just a delightful ten minute walk from the subway stop, this restaurant offers daily specials and seasonal menus that will delight the taste buds. Its location offers a sense of calm and serene in the midst of a busy city.
- Tofu Room Dy’s. Enjoy a meal in or get a quick lunch to takeaway–or enjoy a quick bite with a traditional afternoon Japanese tea. For dessert, don’t forget the Tofu Cheesecake which is delicious and refreshing.
- Sasanoyuki. This famous, old-fashioned restaurant offers traditional charm with some of the best tofu in Tokyo. This place is considered by some to be the inventor of the silken tofu.