Friday, 9 May 2008

Chilled Japanese tofu

It's been so warm this week that I've been craving summer food. Light, fresh, and especially chilled. Chilled Japanese tofu fits the bill completely and requires no cooking either. These can be served as starters or side dishes. We had ours yesterday with teriyaki salmon, stir fried asparagus and plain sticky rice.

AP, for some unfanthomable reason would not eat his tofu cold. So I had to separate the block of tofu into two portions and warm his tofu up in the microwave (on High for 45-60 seconds). I love chilled tofu for the cold factor (great on a warm summer's day) and also because the taste and flavour of soy beans seems to taste stronger when cold. AP said that's too purist a way of enjoying tofu for his taste, heh. So if you've not tried tofu on its own before (compared to in a stir fry), you might want to warm it up in the microwave, although I think everyone should try the 'purist version'!

Chilled tofu

Cut the film from the container, run a knife carefully along the edges of the tofu and invert the block onto a plate or small dish. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. To serve, drizzle with 1 tsp of light soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil and top with garnish of your choice. The most popular are spring onions and bonito flakes, but I have also seen versions that used fried shallots, diced century egg, or pork floss. I used a furikake mix (of sesame seeds, nori and bonito) and spring onions.

You need silken tofu for this dish. They come in a plastic container covered with film over the top, like this:

Silken tofu (Chinese, Japanese or Korean) are widely available at Oriental stores or supermarkets. Not to be confused with 'Mori-Nu Silken Tofu', which is a brand of tofu found in some Sainsbury or Tesco supermarkets. They come in soft, firm and extra firm (even though they all say 'Silken'!). I have not tried them myself and I don't know whether it would be soft or firm that you should use. The soft type seems almost liquid from the description so it might be firm that you need, but I am really not certain. Your best bet is to find one similar to the Unicurd brand picture above.


VeggieGirl said...

what an elegant-looking, chilled dish - perfect for warmer weather! :0)

Lizzie said...

Lovely! I've never had chilled savoury tofu, only the tofu you get in cold syrup or ginger syrup, 'doufou fa'.

didally said...

I feel like having this tofu dish now. It's so warm and humid here.

diva@theSugarBar said...

that looks lovely. i have a love affair with tofu :)
indeed it was terribly hot today. showered twice in a space of 3hrs and then settled down for a tofu salad for dinner.
lovely pictures.

BigBear said...

Since I am unemployed and now out of jail, I love to surf the food blogs. Your blog is one of the best by the way.

But I have never eaten tofu. My girlfriend chiff0nade only knows how to cook pasta dishes (she is an italian immigrant you understand). If she would try something this delicious and healthy maybe I could lose some weight.

After all, I weigh 437 pounds (well, maybe i have gained a few pounds lately since I last weighed).

Since she is a executive at SeriouEats website I think she would try to fix my this recipe, but she turns her nose up at tofu and says that only pasta is good to eat.

You can read about chiffy here:

Thanks for sharing your recipe.

noobcook said...

cold tofu is the best!! Love your photography ^^

Melinda said...

The firm Mori-nu works perfect in this dish. I used to eat it a lot growing up; before I learned how to cook for my family and my mom was still at work. I agree, it's lovely on a hot day and it really brings the rich soy flavor out in the tofu.

Cindy. Lo. said...

Japanese people truly knows how to work with tofu,
My favorite so far - Almond tofu!

BrotherChiffonade said...

@ Cindy.Lo.

What is almond tofu? My male lover simply loves almonds (he likes ALL nuts ... LOL) and I have wanted to learn how to work with TOFU so that I do not become a hulking, obese loser like my sister Chiff0nade's boyfriend.

Is there a recipe for your favorite tofu dish?

Nilmandra said...

Veggiegirl: Definitely good for warm weather.

Lizzie: I love 'doufu fa'! And miss it terribly...

Didally: A cold dish is really refreshing on a hot day, isn't it?

Diva: Thanks! Mmm a tofu salad. That's a nice idea.

Noobcook: Thanks!

Melinda: Ah, thanks for the tip! I'll look out for the firm version if my local Oriental shop runs out of tofu (as it does sometimes).

Cindy: I must admit I'm not fond of almond tofu myself, I just don't seem to like the taste of almond essence in any food, including baked goods and desserts!

Kevin said...

That looks cool and refreshing and good!

noble pig said...

Looks lovely for the upcoming warm weather.

mycookinghut said...

Your chilled Japanese tofu looks yummy. I love tofu of any kind, a big fan of tofu :)

Nilmandra said...

Kevin: It was indeed!

Noobcook: It's warm here already! Not that it will last though, so I'm making the most of it with skirts and dresses everyday :)

My Cooking Hut: Me too. I'm so glad I can get hold of tofu relatively easily here.

Indigo said...

I've never had tofu on its own, but I think I'd be adventurous and try this - I love Japanese food, and this is so simple and elegant!

tigerfish said...

I hardly have chilled tofu, don't really know why. But this makes a great dish on a hot humid day :D

Nilmandra said...

Indigo: You might want to try it warm in case you are not used to the intense soy flavour (more prominent when cold), and then perhaps 'graduate' to the cold version :) I still couldn't convince my husband to try the cold version again, after his first taste of it years ago, the silly man.

Tigerfish: I love the glide of cold tofu down my throat on a hot day. Almost as good as icecream... Well, I'll take icecream too :D

Meg said...

The Mori Nu would work really well here. This sounds great. I can't wait to try it.

Just found your blog. I love it! Thanks for sharing!

Post a Comment