Bean-curd Making


Bean-curd making belongs to the intangible cultural heritage of Korea.

Koreans have long made and used the food in their dietary life. The Hamgyong provincial people had a custom of piling blocks of bean curd on a feast table along with rice cakes, and the custom, it is said, dates back to the period of Koguryo (277 B.C.-A.D. 668).

The method of making bean curd further developed in the period of Koryo (918-1392). An old collection of books contains a poem about bean curd, which tells that bean curd played an important role in the dietary life in that period.

Koryo people's experience in and tradition of making bean curd were handed down to the feudal Joson dynasty (1392-1910), and thus different kinds of bean curd were made and widely known to neighbouring countries. It is recorded in The Chronicles of the Feudal Joson Dynasty that a king of a neighbouring country said that the Korean women made different delicious foods quickly, and that he especially admired bean curd several times, saying that the food was purest, finest and tasty, and that the method of making it was excellent.

There were varieties of bean curd in the period of the feudal Joson dynasty, including uncurdled bean curd, coarse bean curd solid enough to be tied with a string to carry, pidan tubu curdled in silk cloth, pe tubu curdled in hemp cloth, and on (frozen) tubu. Many kinds of bean-curd dishes have been handed down from olden times, including uncurdled bean-curd soup, bean-curd soup flavoured with bean paste, bean-curd casserole, and bean-curd ball.

Bean-curd making with a long history and tradition was put on the list of the national intangible cultural heritage, and its custom is still carried on intact.

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