Soybeans, Tofu, and Miso. A Presentation by Steve Liu, L.Ac. Q-100 Society April 26, 2013

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1 Soybeans, Tofu, and Miso A Presentation by Steve Liu, L.Ac. Q-100 Society April 26,

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5 Soybean: History and Facts Source: Harper, J. E. Soybean. World Book Online Reference Center World Book, Inc. 23 Jan and The soybean (Glycine max) is sometimes known as the soya bean. It is an annual, which means it lives for only one year. The soybean is a member of the same family as peas. Plants in this family are called legumes. It has more than 10,000 genetic variations One of the oldest crops raised by human beings As early as 5,000 years ago farmers in China grew soybeans For centuries Chinese have called the soybean yellow jewel, Great Treasure, Brings Happiness, or Heaven s Bird It s also called the miracle crop and Gold from the soil to American farmers Soybean is the world s foremost provider of protein and oil Soybeans were introduced into Europe during the A.D s but were not cultivated extensively until the 1900 s 5

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7 Soybean: History and Facts It was brought to the United States in the early 1800 s and were used primarily as forage until the 1900 s By 1929, U.S. soybean production had grown to 9 million bushels. By 1940, that was increased to 78 millions bushels In 2003, U.S. farmers harvested 2,418 billion bushels of soybeans on 75 million acres of land and in more than 30 states U.S. supplies about 40 percent of the world s soybean trade. More than a half of the crop is exported to China, European Union, Mexico, and Japan Soybeans is the U.S. second largest crop (next to corn) in cash sales and number one value crop export 7

8 Soybean: History and Facts Soybeans are valuable in easing the world food shortage. Soybeans grown on an acre of land can provide 10 times as much protein as can beef cattle raised on the same land In the U.S. soybeans are used chiefly in the form of meal and oil. More than 95% of the soybean meal is used to feed animals- cattle, hogs, poultry, and house pets (in the pet food). More than 90% of the crude soybean oil used in the U.S. is processed into edible refined oil About one-third of the edible oil goes into making products used in commercial baking and frying. The rest is used in manufacturing cooking oils for home use and in making margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and other food products 8

9 Soybean: History and Facts Edible refined oil is an ingredient of a variety of industrial products include adhesive tape, carbon paper, and leather softeners. In 1940 Henry Ford took an ax against a car trunk lid made from a highly resilient soybean-derived plastic Besides the two virtues of the soybean: high food value and ease of production, the virtue of (magic) versatility gives us dozens of different forms of food, of which the most important were soybean sprouts, steam green beans, roasted soy nuts, soymilk, soy sauce, miso (a fermented soybean paste from Japan), tempeh (a fermented soybean cake from Indonesia), soy flour, and of course doufu (bean curd from China), which is the basis for dozens of other soy foods 9

10 Tofu (Dou-fu): History and its variety Dou-fu, the Chinese name for bean curd, has been made in China, where it was invented, for about 2,000 years The bean curd, resembles custard or a soft white cheese, is prepared by first soaking, grinding, and boiling soybeans. A thickening agent, such as calcium sulfate or magnesium chloride, is then added, causing the protein in the beans to form a custard-like substance called curd Dou-fu is considered as the most important of the foods prepared from the soybeans in the East. In China, it is valued but considered very common. For instance, in Chinese stories a dou-fu seller is always a poor man with a good heart. Chinese refer to a girl who is beautiful but poor as dou-fu-xi-shi, a bean curd beauty. When a man is treating a woman cheaply, taking her for granted, Chinese say he is just eating her dou-fu Dou-fu, called tofu in Japan-and now elsewhere-arrived Japan in the last half of the first millennium along with a new religion, Buddhism 10

11 Tofu: History and its variety For several centuries Buddhism was an upper-class religion in Japan; these social associations pushed the development of tofu The Chinese have developed dozens of different ways of reprocessing tofu, most of which change the texture and/or the taste of the food radically. They press, shred, slice and marinate, steam, smoke, deep-fry, ferment, and salt-dry it, often combining more than one process on this list In general, Japanese cuisine preserves the simplicity of tofu, its subtle taste, custardy texture, and dazzling white robes, in the phrase of a six-century monk, in dishes of awe-inspiring elegance Tofu is high in protein and relatively low in calories, fats, and carbohydrates. Tofu is rich in calcium and contains no cholesterol 11

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14 Tofu: History and its variety Tofu has little taste of its own, but it picks up the flavors of the foods it is cooked with; In the West it can be prepared in a variety of main dishes, breads, desserts and ice cream, soups, salads, salad dressings, and dips for any meal, snack or party A good analogy between tofu and potato: Tofu in the East is like the potato in the West. Like potato, tofu can be baked, boiled, broiled, grilled, or fried. Potato can be eaten whole, smashed, in cubes, mixed with a thousand other things to form an unlimited number of dishes, so as tofu. However, unlike with potato, tofu never has black rotten spots, or worms, or dirty peels There are two broad categories of Tofu in your local grocery store: Firm and Soft (or Silken). Firm tofu is truly like the potatoes in its stirs fry well and absorbs the flavors of the vegetables being fried. Silken Tofu is best eaten raw or used in soups, most notably Miso soup. Chinese like to use them in pudding-like dessert, namely dou-fu-hua or tofu flower since it tends to crumble 14

15 Tofu: Variety, Preparation, and Storage Both firm and soft tofu are available in most grocery stores in the vegetable section. Tofu is like a dairy product in that it must be refrigerated and has a short shelf life. It is normally sold in plastic containers, immersed in water. Naturally the water should be poured off, the tofu rinsed and patted dry before using Silken tofu sometimes comes inside foil package from Japan. In this case, the Silken tofu is ultra-pasteurized and so has a very long shelf life. Firm tofu is always fresh After opening the container, tofu should be used immediately. However, it can be stored in a refrigerator for few more days if the water in its container is changed frequently The fresh tofu can be put in a freezer to long term storage. However, it completely and permanently changes its texture. It becomes spongy and highly flavor-absorbent 15

16 Variety of Chinese Tofu products Sold in Chinese Market Extra Firm Fresh Layered Spiced Stripped Fried Charbroiled 16

17 Why you should eat Tofu often According to the FDA, 25 grams of soy protein a day, when consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease Okinawa Centenarian Study (OCS) revealed that these 100+ year-old Okinawan consume more soy than any other population on earth: grams a day, compared to grams for the average Japanese, 10 for Chinese and virtually 0 for the average American 17

18 Miso Miso ( みそ or 味噌 ) is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley, and/or soybeans with salt and the fungus kōjikin ( 麹菌 ), the most typical miso being made with soy The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso soup called misoshiru ( 味噌汁 ), a Japanese culinary staple High in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan. Miso is still widely used in Japan, both in traditional and modern cooking, and has been gaining world-wide interest Miso is typically salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. There is a wide variety of miso available Different varieties of miso have been described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. The traditional Chinese analogue of miso is known as dòujiàng ( 豆酱 ) 18

19 Miso Soup Miso is a part of many Japanese-style meals. It most commonly appears as the main ingredient of miso soup, which is eaten daily by much of the Japanese population The pairing of plain rice and miso soup is considered a fundamental unit of Japanese cuisine. This pairing is the basis of a traditional Japanese breakfast Miso is used in many other types of soup and souplike dishes, including some kinds of ramen, udon, nabe, and imoni. Generally, such dishes have the title miso prefixed to their name (for example, miso-udon), and have a heavier, earthier flavor and aroma compared to other Japanese soups that are not miso-based 19

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21 5-minute Miso Soup Serves 1 1 cup hot water 1 2 tablespoons miso paste 1 teaspoon dried seaweed, soaked in water 2 tablespoons cubed firm tofu Dash of chopped green onion 21