In winter, high in the mountains of central Japan, a few small family shops are still busy making freeze-dried tofu, one of the world's most concentrated sources of high-quality vegetable protein. Protein aside, freeze-dried tofu may be the original convenience food. The 2 x 2 1/2-inch pieces are reconstituted when briefly soaked in plain water.
Like a sponge, this food is ready to pick up the flavor of seasonings, sauces, and marinades. It cooks in minutes and is delicious when simmered, sautéed, or deep-fried. Freeze-dried tofu adds interest, flavor, and nutrition to any style of cooking.