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The Importance of Soy in Japan

Ewa Nowogorski

As rice is important in Japan, so are soy products. If the Japanese get their carbohydrates from rice, then they get a lot of their protein from soy. 100 grams of soybean seeds have about 37 grams of protein and they also have a substantial amount of fat too, making them an extremely well-balanced superfood.

Soy is used for many things. It can be a great dairy substitute for milk, tofu is great in miso soups, salads and stirfrys, and it is even used as a meat substitute in some religions. On its own, tofu has a very mild taste, and its soft, smooth texture may not be appetizing to many people not used to it. However, tofu is very versatile and can be used in either sweet or savory dishes.

As a vegan, I not only love tofu for its many uses, but I also love it for its super-affordable cost. A pack of tofu can cost as little as 26 yen in some places, which is about 20 cents USD! There are some restaurants and shops devoted to soy, making dishes centered around this delightful ingredient. It’s even gained popularity in the West as well, where people use it in almost everything. Hail tofu!

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