A silken tofu recipe with crunchy toppings is a pleasant examine in contrasts

Gochiso-Dofu (Embellished Tofu)

Complete time:15 minutes, plus any chilling time

Servings:2 to 4

Complete time:15 minutes, plus any chilling time

Servings:2 to 4

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There is a glass-half-empty / glass-half-full manner of taking a look at tofu. The previous is that it is too bland to be fascinating. The latter is that it is a flexible backdrop for highly effective flavors.

Think about this: Have you ever ever heard anyone say they discover contemporary mozzarella too bland and boring for a Caprese salad? Quite the opposite, it is celebrated because the soothing counterpoint to acidic tomatoes, grassy olive oil, peppery basil. There are many different potentialities, too, together with balsamic vinegar and crushed purple pepper flakes.

I view this tofu recipe because the Japanese equal of the Caprese, with some apparent exceptions: It is constructed utilizing a single block of silken tofu, which you will by no means have eaten in such a manner, however belief me, it is best to. You high it with a riot of herbs, aromatics, scallions, peanuts and high-quality soy sauce, serve it chilly, and let your company spoon their parts out, consuming it as an appetizer as is or maybe with rice as a foremost course. The tofu is nearly puddinglike, and its refined nutty taste and easy, creamy texture play off the crunchy, salty toppings.

In some Asian cuisines, silken tofu is served not as a block however out of a shallow bowl or a pot, and it is typically made contemporary. I keep in mind the shock and delight the primary time I ate it this manner in Tokyo, the place for breakfast at a conventional ryokan, just a little iron pot sat over a flame, and the server poured freshly made soy milk into it. The pot already contained a coagulant – most likely gypsum – and after a couple of minutes underneath cowl, the lid was lifted, and I spooned into probably the most ethereal tofu I had ever eaten.

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You are able to do that at dwelling; Andrea Nguyen has a stupendous recipe for it in her e book “Asian Tofu.”

However on any given weeknight, particularly in the summertime after I need one thing that does not require any warmth in any respect, I riff on a recipe from Harumi Kurihara’s 2020 e book, β€œHarumi’s Japanese Kitchen.” I begin with store-bought silken tofu – I like to make use of the shelf-stable type in aseptic packaging made by Mori-Nu – after which high it with what I’ve available. (This tofu has a barely complicated label, in that it is labeled silken but in addition tender, agency or further agency. Any of these will work for this recipe, however I want the tender, which is the creamiest.)

Kurihara calls it Gochiso-Dofu, or Embellished Tofu, which supplies you an thought of ​​how delicately she assembles the toppings. She wraps a paper towel across the edges of the tofu, letting it lengthen just a few inches above the floor (kind of like the way you make a paper collar for a souffle), after which after arranging the toppings, she removes the towel to reveal a superbly clear edge. Then she rigorously pours the darkish sauce alongside that edge, so it coats the perimeters of the tofu with out disrupting the toppings.

All due respect, however I haven’t got time for that. Moreover, I like the way it seems to let among the herbs, nuts and scallions tumble onto the serving dish, and to then flood it with the sauce, leaving the tofu’s off-white flesh clear in opposition to the black. This dish is all about distinction – darkish and lightweight, crunchy and creamy, intense and gentle – and do not you need to present that off?

Gochiso-Dofu (Embellished Tofu)

Think about the tofu a clean canvas, and be happy to substitute your favourite nuts, seeds and herbs for those listed right here. In case you have a backyard, it is a nice use for herb or different plant blossoms. This can be a fantastic appetizer to serve 4, however you would additionally serve it as a foremost course for 2, with rice. Use tamari rather than soy sauce to make the dish gluten-free.

Storage Notes: The tofu is at its greatest, to style and take a look at, when freshly made, however you may refrigerate it for as much as 3 days.

The place to Purchase: Mirin, Japanese candy rice cooking wine, may be present in well-stocked supermarkets or Asian markets.

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  • One (12-ounce) bundle silken tofu, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped contemporary mint, basil, shiso or a combination, plus small leaves for non-compulsory garnish
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 finely chopped contemporary ginger teaspoon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon white and / or black sesame seeds
  • Chive blossoms, for garnish (non-compulsory)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons mirin

Place the tofu on a serving plate. If it was in a shelf-stable bundle and at room temperature, chill for at the very least 1 hour and as much as 8 hours earlier than topping and serving.

Sprinkle the highest of the tofu with the chopped herbs and scallion, then with the ginger, peanuts and sesame seeds. Garnish with the small complete herb leaves and chive blossoms, if utilizing.

In a small measuring cup with a pourable spout, combine collectively the soy sauce or tamari and mirin. Pour the sauce across the tofu on the serving dish, and serve.

Per serving (1/2 cup tofu and toppings, 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce), primarily based on 4

Energy: 109; Complete Fats: 5 g; Saturated Fats: 1 g; Ldl cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 536 mg; Carbohydrates: 11 g; Dietary Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 4 g; Protein: 6 g

This evaluation is an estimate primarily based on accessible substances and this preparation. It mustn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

Tailored from “Harumi’s Japanese Kitchen” by Harumi Kurihara (Octopus Conran, 2020).

Examined by Joe Yonan; e-mail inquiries to voraciously@washpost.com.

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