Goma-dofu is one of Shojin-ryori (vegetarian diet). It is also a local dish of Nara Prefecture and Wakayama Prefecture. Although its name is 'tofu', soybean is not used as its ingredient.
Principal ingredients are sesame seeds with its skin peeled off then grinded (Atari goma) (sesame paste), and kuzu starch (arrowroot starch). These ingredients are dissolved in water, heated, then cooled after putting into a mold. It is normally eaten as hiya yakko (cold tofu, blocks of tofu served cold). Generally, it is sold in department stores, supermarkets, souvenir shops and Michi no Eki (a roadside rest area with a market of local products for tourists) in Yoshino area, Mt. Koya and so on. It is a standard dish served as Shojin-ryori in almost all Zen temples operating shukubo (visitors' or pilgrims' lodgings in a temple). Since it is oily for the principal ingredient, sesame, it is eaten often with soy sauce mixed with wasabi (paste of green Japanese horseradish) so as to keep mouth fresh.
Grinding sesame seeds sufficiently to achieve a silky smooth, soft texture is time consuming, so for home-made goma-dofu, sesame pastes sold in stores can be used instead of grinding the sesame seeds yourself, and potato starch can be used instead of kuzu starch.
Other than sesame seeds, the same kind of tofu may be prepared by using walnuts, peanuts, acorn fruits and so on.
Especially, tofu made with peanuts is a common food in Okinawa Prefecture and it is called 'jimami-dofu.'
Tofu made with acorns is made in Kochi Prefecture, and it is said to have been imported during the Bunroku-Keicho War.