Japanese crunchy-topped tofu

IMG_8779Most people turn their nose up at tofu but it can be delicious when you dress it up. This is totally yummy, and can be vegan-ised by leaving out the bacon. As with all these recipes it takes little to no time at all to put together, just some chopping – no cooking! It’s very important to get the silken tofu, not the harder varieties. It’s also a great use of my home-grown shiso, mint and basil leaves! I make a double quantity of the Banno soy sauce as you can use it in other recipes. It keeps in the fridge in a jar.

Serves 4

block of silken tofu
couple of rashers crispy bacon, finely chopped
25 g (about a handful) of walnuts, finely chopped
30 g spring onion (about 4 pieces) finely chopped
thumb of ginger, minced
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
handful of shiso leaves, mint and/or basil all finely chopped
garlic flakes 

Banno soy sauce

100 ml mirin
300ml kikkoman soy sauce
10cm konbu seaweed, spoiled before soaking


First make the Banno by bringing the mirin to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce and the konbu. Leave to infuse. 

Take the tofu out of its pack and place in a shallow bowl on some kitchen roll so that it absorbs the tofu water. Put it in the fridge until ready to use.

Now finely chop all the bacon, spring onions, and walnuts and mix with the ginger.

Toast the sesame seeds and set aside.

When it’s time to serve, remove the paper towel and thickly cover the tofu with the bacon/ginger/spring onion topping. Then sprinkle with the herbs, garlic slivers and finally teh seasme seeds.

Finally pour enough Banno sauce (remove the konbu first) around the base so that it sits in a pool of deliciousness. 

Slice carefully to serve, scooping up the toppings and sauce. Makes a lovely side for any Japanese meal.


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