Tanpopo no shiraae / dandelions with tofu dressing

The bitter greens of dandelions paired with the faint sweetness of tofu dressing. Tanpopo dandelions may be your enemy when it comes to lawns, but could become an endless supply of leafy greens … well, maybe not. Still, let’s enjoy the stimulating bitterness of spring and get our share of burgeoning energy.

As the leaves are quite bitter, they are soaked in water for 1-2 hours after boiling for 1-2 minutes, and then coated with oil before mixing with the tofu dressing below.

1/2 of recipe:
84 calories; 4.3 g protein; 5.1 g fat; 6.2 g carbohydrate; 3.7 g net carbs; 90 mg sodium; 53 mg cholesterol; 2.5 g fiber; 183 mg potassium


100 g tanpopo dandelion leaves (98 g raw; in photo, boiled and soaked in water for 90 minutes)
1/2 tsp flaxseed oil (or sesame or olive oil)

For scrambled egg yolk topping (using only 1/2 of amount below for this recipe)
1 egg yolk
5 g (approx. 1 tbsp) kanso okara dry soybean pulp

For shiraae tofu dressing
70 g kinugoshi soft tofu
2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
1/8 tsp usukuchi pale soy sauce
1/4 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt


Mix egg yolk and okara, and let sit for 5-10 minutes or so to ensure okara soaks up moisture from egg yolk.

Microwave for 15 seconds (1000 watts) while removing once or twice and scrambling well.

Let cool.


Cut dandelion leaves into 3-4 cm, squeeze out excess moisture, and place in a prep bowl.

Add flaxseed oil, and mix well.


In suribachi mortar, grind sesame seeds until becoming like a rough paste.

Add tofu, mix well.

Add usukuchi soy sauce and shiokoji, and mix well again.

Dressing is ready.


Add dandelion leaves to shiraae dressing, and gently mix.


Place in individual bowls, and top with scrambled egg yolk. 


  • For scrambled egg yolk, mixing with okara is optional. I use okara simply because I always have it on hand, and also to increase fiber content and volume. Because of adding okara, only half of the entire amount listed in Ingredients above is used for this dish (for two persons).
  • When using dandelion leaves from grocery stores, 60-90 minutes is usually enough time to soak them in cold water after boiling for 1-2 minutes. Because leaves are later coated with oil, removing too much bitterness (soaking too long) could result in a rather boring dish. Take a bite of leaves to check and see if their bitterness has decreased to an acceptable level.
  • Bottled flaxseed oil is usually found at the health food or supplement section at grocery stores in the US. 
  • The potassium figure is based on the assumption that 45% of the potassium of dandelion leaves is released into boiling water. The actual figure is likely lower, since cooked dandelion leaves are soaked in water.

(Last updated: May 1, 2018)