Today I will introduce my favorite side dish using tofu called Shira-ae. Shira-ae is to eat seasonable vegetables with tofu dressing. Shira (shiro) means white, the tofu’s color, and “ae” (ah-eh) means dress, so white-dress makes sense. You can add shimeji or shitake mushrooms, konjac, and fish cake, such as imitation crab meat for more flavor.
To make the tofu dressing we need to extract the water from the tofu. To do this we wrap the tofu in paper or cloth towel and stack some weight on it for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Another technique to remove water from the tofu is to put the tofu in water and heat until the water boils. We then remove the tofu from the boiling water and put in a colander to drain for about 20 to 30 minutes. Both techniques take about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In the dressing, we use sesame paste. You can find sesame paste at Asian or Japanese market, but I usually buy Tahini at local supermarket.
Light color soy sauce is also used in the dressing. This is not low sodium soy sauce. This soy sauce is used in lighter colored dishes. You could use regular soy sauce instead but it will look darker.
Tofu Dressing with Vegetables: Shira-ae
· 5oz of baby spinach
· 1 carrot
· ½ lb of tofu (light silken or soft)
· 1 tablespoon of sesame paste
· 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
· 1 tablespoon of light color soy sauce
· 200ml of water
· 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1. Put tofu in a pot, cover it with water, and heat it up. Once it starts boiling, take the tofu out of the pot and place it into a colander to drain for about 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Pat with a paper towel to remove as much water as possible.
3. Julian the carrot.
4. Cook the carrots in hot water until tender, take them out and put into a colander to cool.
5. Cook bay spinach in hot water then place into a bowl of ice water. Drain and squeeze well.
6. Mix hot water and soy sauce for the seasoning. Soak drained carrots and baby spinach in the seasoning.
7. Mash the drained tofu in a bowl. Add sesame paste, brown sugar, and light color soy sauce, then mix well until smooth.
8. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the carrots and spinach. Mix the carrots and spinach with tofu dressing.