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What’s the Difference Between Firm Tofu and Silken Tofu?

Japanese tofu is generally divided into firm tofu (木綿豆腐 momen-tofu) and silken tofu (絹ごし豆腐 kinugoshi-tofu). As the name says, the texture of each type of tofu are totally different.

Here, I would like to introduce the details of differences between the two, and suitable cooking methods for each!

Difference 1: How to Make

Firm Tofu

Add a coagulant to the soy milk and firm up.

Break what was once hardened.

Apply pressure to squeeze the water

Harden again using box-shape container*

*A cloth is laid in the container where the tofu is poured. The reason why the surface of firm tofu is uneven is that the texture of the cloth is attached as it is.

How to Make Tofu at Home

Silken Tofu

Prepare thicker soy milk rather than firm tofu.

Add a coagulant to the soy milk and firm up as it is.


By the way, the way of making firm tofu has longer history than silken tofu. Silken tofu had appeared in the middle of the Edo period in search of soft and smooth texture of tofu.

Difference 2: Texture

Firm Tofu

Firm texture, and thick taste

Silken Tofu

Fine and smooth texture

Difference 3: Suitable Cooking Methods and Recommended Dishes

Firm Tofu

Suitable Cooking Methods: Bake, Stir-fry, Simmer, and Deep-fry
Recommended Dishes: Tofu steak, Tofu hamburg steak, Scrambled tofu, and Mapo tofu

I’ve made tofu hamburg steak, please check the recipe here!
Tofu Hamburg Steak with Miso

Silken Tofu

Suitable Cooking Methods: Eat as it is
Recommended Dishes: Tofu salad and Cold tofu with toppings (Hiyayakko)

Difference 4: Nutrients

Firm Tofu

Nutrients of firm tofu are compressed because the water is squeezed during the making process.
For that reason, it’s said that firm tofu contains 20 to 30% more of protein, calcium, and iron than silken tofu.

Silken Tofu

It’s said that silken tofu contains more of B vitamins and potassium than firm tofu. It’s because those two nutrients which are water-soluble nutrients flow out with water in the process of making firm tofu.



How was the differences between firm tofu and silken tofu?

Now you can choose either one as you like: you can pick according to your favorite dish, or according to nutrients you want to take.

If you want to take calcium and iron, I highly recommend to eat firm tofu, while if you want to take B vitamins and potassium, silken tofu should be great choice.

Please try to eat both type of tofu when you have a chance, and do taste comparison!



If you are thinking about making tofu at home, that’s great idea!

I believe it should be easier than you think. Only you need to do is preparing soybeans and coagulant. Please try making tofu and taste fresh, delicious tofu!



More about soy food besides tofu:

A Guide to Japanese Soy Food

Top 21 Japanese Soybean Products

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