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Hiyayakko Tofu with Condiments Recipe

Tofu is made from coagulating soybean milk. There are three categories of coagulant agents including salts, acids and enzymes. The softest textured tofu is silken tofu, or known as kinugoshi tofu in Japan, has the highest moisture content of all the tofu types. It is coagulated in its package and has the consistency of soft custard.

All tofu types are suited to particular recipes, but silken tofu is best enjoyed fresh by itself with only a few condiments. The good news is that it is a form of fast food that is healthful for you. I always like to keep a few tubs handy for quick light meals.

Because of tofu is excellent nutritional value, it is incorporated into many new health-conscious recipes. The texture of silken tofu is a benefit when it is used as a replacement for cream cheese for desserts or dips. There is tofu ice cream, tofu cheesecake and tofu chip dips. Japanese usually show dismay to see their beloved tofu used in such ways while foreigners do not appreciate the light taste of plain tofu. They call it bland and tasteless. I invite you to introduce your taste buds to the pure and natural flavor of unadulterated tofu. It is a good way to cleanse your palate and educate your taste buds that may be less sensitive due to the deluge of overly seasoned foods and artificial flavors that are concocted in test tubes rather than by nature.

Hiya means cold while yakko is another word for tofu. It is a popular dish in Japan. My personal favorite condiments are soy sauce, nori and grated daikon but the condiments included here are commonly enjoyed as well.

Hiyayakko Tofu with Condiments

1 block silk tofu
cup soy sauce or dipping sauce*

grated ginger
wasabi paste
2 green onions, sliced
nori sheets, shredded or sliced into slivers
katsuobushi flakes
grated daikon radish
shiso leaves

Keep the tofu chilled in the refrigerator until serving. Cut the silken tofu into small, bite-sized cubes. Place the cubes on individual serving dishes and top with soy sauce. Then, top with condiments or place the condiments in small cups for each guest to help himself.

*Dipping sauce: Although simple soy sauce is most used, you may make a more flavorful dipping sauce by blend cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. sake and 1/3 cup of dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi) in a small pot, heating this and then straining it through a cheesecloth.

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