Soy (daizu - 大豆)

Soybeans are a fundamental ingredient of Japanese cuisine. Soybeans are a very valuable source of proteins which, combined with cereals (rice), can replace meat in human diet and feed a large population when the land is limited like in Japan.

Here is a list of different Japanese traditional foods made with soybeans :

  • Fermented soybeans and salt are used to produce the soy sauce which is added instead of salt in nearly all dishes .
  • The 'miso' paste used in soups is produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans.
  • The tofu bean curd is produced by coagulating soy milk, a bit like cheese.
  • Fermented soya beans called 'nato' are also very popular in Japanese (at least for those who can bare their very strong and peculiar taste).
  • Boiled and salted soybeans called 'edamame' are served in their pods as an appetizer.


Soybean growing next to a rice field [source]
Fermented soybeans 'nato' [source]




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