Originating in China, tofu was brought over to Japan in the Nara period. It is closely tied with Buddhism, as it formed a vital and versatile source of protein in the Buddhist vegetarian diet. The foundation of tofu is the soybean, which is made into soymilk and coagulated into curds, which will then be shaped into blocks of tofu. has a great variety of tofu, ranging in hardness from soft to very hard. To learn more about this most intriguing of Japanese foods, be sure to check out our tofu inspiration page.