Thursday, July 26, 2007

Our Sake Shop, "Sakaya"

We're tremendously excited because we recently received the NY State Liquor Authority Board's approval of our liquor license application for our sake shop, Sakaya, which will be on E. 9th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues in the East Village. Our goal is to be open for business in early October. Please visit the Sakaya website homepage for a link to our pre-opening blog where we will post regular updates on our progress.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


What is yuba? It is the membrane-like skin that forms when soy milk is warmed. It is then eaten warm or dried (like pasta) for later consumption as a wrap for spinach for example. It is fairly common in Japan but very difficult to find in the U.S.

As you may know, baking is quite different from cooking. It is a combination of science and the test of one's patience. Yuba making is the same way. It is very important that the soy milk should not reach the boiling point however its temperature should kept at a constant 165 degree F. The best method for achieving this delicate balance is through the use of a double boiler. Bring the water to a boil, gradually warming the soy milk until it reaches the desired temperature. When the yuba begins to form on the surface, you'll be tempted to immediately scoop up the sheet. But, exercise restraint because the membrane will initially be too thin and soft to successfully be able to lift it. Wait.....until the surface becomes thick enough to form a perfect sheet.

The key to making yuba as we said is patience. On one hand, we were excited and ready to scarf down own homemade yuba, yet at same time, we knew that our palates would be amply rewarded by holding off for just a few minutes more. As we said at the beginning of this post, this is the toughest part of making yuba (aside from making the soy milk from soaking dried yellow soy beans). We don't know if we'll make it again anytime soon, but when we do, it will most likely be a special occasion. And believe us, this special treat is well worth the wait!