Ikeda Shokuhin produces smoked shima-dofu using unsold tofu

Ikeda Shokuhin produces smoked <em>shima-dofu</em> using unsold tofu

At Ikeda in Nishihara, the president of Ikeda Shokuhin, Hiroshi Zukeran (left), and his wife Masami, who is in charge of the planning division, have been striving to develop new products such as smoked shima-dofu.

June 10, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

Tofu production and distribution company Ikeda Shokuhin has been working to commercialize a new product of Okinawan tofu, also known as shima-dofu. They not only started selling smoked shima-dofu in April, but also tried to make scones and cookies from okara or soy pulp created as a by-product when making tofu. The company president, Hiroshi Zukeran said, “Many people may have a preconception that Okinawan tofu is achikoko (hot in Uchinaguchi) or that it comes in a pack, but I want to create new and unusual product angles for it.”

Smoked shima-dofu is made by exerting pressure on a cake of shima-dofu for three hours, before draining its water away and soaking it in their original soy sauce flavor mixture for two days. After that it is dried for six hours and smoked with cherry chips for another 12 hours. They came up with the recipe for the original sauce mixture through about two months of trial and error.

When Zukeran went to a tofu trade fair in Tokyo, he saw various products, such as tofu ice cream, that inspired him to try creating something new, and the taste of smoked tofu that he ate there gave him a clue. Up to now, he had offered leftover shima-dofu that had gone cold at supermarkets as food for livestock, but he always wanted to somehow recycle that unsold product and that desire helped drive him to look for ideas.

The company began marketing the new tofu goods in April and now distributes them to various restaurants and bars. For large retailers, from June 9 they are selling them at Keibin-eki Kariyushi-ichi in Ozato, Nanjo, also at Ameku Ryubo in Naha, and at the Farmer’s Market in Agarihama, Yonabaru from July. They hope to sell 120 packs per week.

Asami Zukeran, the wife of the company president, who works in the planning division, has carried out research into the use of raw leftover bean curd, making scones and cookies experimentally for an industrial exhibition and a handmade goods market.

The suggested price excluding tax of the smoked shima-dofu is from 280 yen for one block, and from 550 yen for two blocks. For further details, call Ikeda Shokuhin on 098 (945) 0279.

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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