Kuzushi-dofu no yakumi sarada / tofu salad with condiments

An easy tofu salad featuring the standard toppings for hiyayakko chilled tofu. This is a very quick dish, except for the time to let out the excess moisture from tofu. If you cannot wait, place large chunks of tofu between your palms and gently press.

I used to make this with tonburi, the boiled seeds of hokigi [Bassia scoparia or Kochia scoparia], in Japan. Since it is not available where we live, I use chia seeds below, but they are optional.

1/2 of recipe:
72 calories; 4.9 g protein; 4.2 g fat; 3.6 g carbohydrate; 2.1 g net carbs; 91 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 1.5 g fiber; 171 mg potassium

<Ingredients>

150-170 g kinugoshidofu silken soft tofu (168 g in photo)
1 tsp chia seeds (4 g in photo)
2 shiso (aojiso) green perilla leaves (2 g in photo)
1 knob ginger (9 g in photo)
2 myoga Japanese ginger buds (17 g in photo)
1 green onion (8 g in photo)
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce

<Directions>
1.

Drain tofu on zaru strainer or plate (if using a plate, tilt for easier draining) for 30+ minutes.

2.

Break tofu with hands and place in a medium prep bowl.
Add chia seeds, and mix.

Break large tofu chunks to bite size or smaller as you mix with chia seeds.
Set aside.

3.

Thinly slice green onion and myoga ginger buds.
Julienne shiso perilla leaves and (skinned) ginger.

4.

Pour sesame oil over tofu, and gently mix (aim to coat tofu surface).

Add all vegetables, and gently mix.

Pour soy sauce, and gently mix.

Ready to serve.

<Notes>

  • From 150-170 g of tofu, removing 15-20 cc (1+ tablespoon) of water is enough. Removing too much water results in a crumbly texture.
  • Adding sesame oil first is to keep soy sauce on the surface of tofu chunks, which ensures a saltier sensation as you put the food in your mouth, while minimizing the amount of soy sauce used in this dish.
  • If you choose to add chia seeds, make sure to add them to tofu before soy sauce; let them soak up some water from the tofu, not the salty seasoning.
  • Kuzushi in this dish’s name implies that tofu is broken into chunks (by hand, spatula or spoon) instead of neatly cut into angular forms. The expression comes from the verb kuzusu [break, deform].