Sea and Japan Project Public Relations Office
Sea Work Project Children’s Work [Learn the importance of the sea through making Otofu! 】has been held
October 23, 2022 (Sunday) 9:00-12:00 [Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture]
The Regional Mirai Creation Center, a general incorporated
association, held a work experience for elementary school students together with Hakko Food Industry, a tofu maker in Nagano Prefecture. This program was implemented with the aim of realizing the importance of the sea through the experience of making tofu, a familiar ingredient. Tofu is made from only three ingredients: soybeans, bittern, and water. Nigari, a bounty of the sea, plays an especially important role. This program is full of learning and realizations about how bitter bittern is the key to making tofu, how to live with the sea, how to protect the environment, and what the sea gives us. This event is part of the “Nippon Foundation ‘Sea and Japan Project'” that connects people through the sea in order to hand over the sea to the next generation.
・ Event name: Children’s Work Experience Project at Sea
【Learn the importance of the sea through the experience of making tofu! ] ・ Date: October 23, 2022 (Sunday) 9:00 to 12:00
・ Venue: Cleanup Nagano Branch (Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture) ・Participants: 5 people (2 parents and children/3 children, 2 adults) ・ Main event: Hakko Food Industry Co., Ltd.
・ Main manager: Regional Mirai Creation Center
・ Cooperation Umi to Nihon Project in Nagano Prefecture Executive Committee What is the relationship between tofu and the sea?
Mr. Hatta of Hakko Food Industry, who has been making tofu in Nagano City for 30 years, teaches me about his work. Participating in the experience were 5th and 1st grader Komatsu brothers, and 1st grader Shimizu. First, Mr. Hatta introduced the process of making tofu with a video. When I told them that there are three ingredients for making tofu: soybeans, water, and bittern, the children responded with an unexpected “Eh!” Next, Mr. Hatta will explain about the unfamiliar “bitter”.
“Nigari is a liquid that is produced when salt is extracted from seawater.” “It’s like a class leader who plays the role of connecting soy proteins together.”
As the lecture progressed with laughter, I gradually began to see the relationship between tofu and the sea.
Challenge to make tofu
After the lecture, you can actually try your hand at making tofu. On this day, I used freshly squeezed soy milk from Hakko Foods. First, heat the soy milk to 75 degrees. The temperature varies slightly depending on the soybeans used as raw materials and the characteristics of the nigari added later, showing one aspect of delicate work. Children also stare at the 75 degree scale and heat it up seriously. Add the bittern as soon as the heating ends. Do not add the bittern all at once, but divide it into two batches to eliminate unevenness. Because the ingredients are simple, the delicate process brings out the deliciousness.
How to keep eating delicious tofu?
While waiting for the tofu to harden, Mr. Hatta shared the secret to making delicious tofu. Tofu making is profound because the ingredients are simple. The type and concentration of the bittern used are changed according to the characteristics of the soybeans, and the quality of the bittern is directly linked to the quality of the product. Children can also reconfirm the relationship between tofu and the sea here. In response to Mr. Hatta’s question, “What is important for eating delicious tofu?” I was.
I’m going to have some tofu!
Everyone cheered when the hardened tofu was transferred to a bowl. We will have tofu that we made ourselves. Parents were surprised to see their children, who usually don’t eat only tofu, eat it. Tofu that you make yourself, the taste is doubled. Mr. Hatta showed me the undiluted solution of bittern again, and when the oldest boy who participated licked a small amount of it, it seemed to be very bitter, and he asked a simple question, “Why doesn’t tofu taste bitter?” Actually, there seems to be a secret in the ingredients of nigari. The event was closed, leaving the possibility of new learning.
Organization name: Regional Mirai Creation Center
Activities: Planning, development and implementation of a “local work experience program” for children
The Nippon Foundation “Sea and Japan Project”
The sea supports the lives of Japanese people in various ways, and sometimes gives us peace of mind, excitement, and inspiration. This is an all-Japan project in which children and people all over the country see the current state of environmental deterioration in the sea as something that belongs to them, and spread the circle of action to pass on the sea to the future. is.
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