Tofu with Bonito flakes

This is the most requested dish of my husband’s repertoire in bbqs and dinner parties with fiends.

It is a super quick and easy one to pull out of the bag if you have guests arriving unexpectedly and you just want to feed them with a light bite to accompany their drinks whilst to get on with some more time consuming dishes.

If you are planning a long table for a buffet, this dish will also make sure that your vegetarian friends are happy and feel that you have not forgotten them. And given that you can pretty much prepare most of it in advance, you too will appreciate a bit less stress.

Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: this mix will make a plate of 25 cm , as shown on the image.

Tips:

1. Choose your tofu carefully. Tofu has a reputation of been either bitter or boring, but need to be neither. I like Japanese one, medium firm. Normally we buy Mori- nu silken tofu firm. Nowadays you can even find it in the local supermarket.

If you are going for a chinese one, choose the young one, the lighter coloured one they sell in the fresh food counter by the veggies rather than the firm one which is more bitter.

2. In Japan people use a young leek like spring onion, but the regular spring onions you can buy everywhere are perfectly fine. The key is to avoid using the dark green leafs and to chop it very very finely.

3. Bonito flakes are an ingredient that will blow your senses. They are made out of bonito dried , smoked and flaked . Their Japanese name is katsuobushi, and you can easily find it in most Japanese shops.

Ingredients:

350 gr block of tofu
3 spring onions very finely chopped
1 sachet of 5 gr of katsuobushi ( bonito flakes)
3 table spoons of vegetable oil
2 table spoons of soya sauce

Cooking instructions:

The most tricky part of this dish is to prepare the ingredients.

Firstly choose a large enough plate that can take heat changes.

Cut the tofu into dices of around 1x1x2 cm. I generally cut in three directions: two cuts horizontal, two vertical lengthwise, and two vertical width wise.

Place the tofu on the dish roughly as shown. Each piece separate to allow for the sauce to cover the pieces.

Sprinkle the very finely chopped spring onions .

In a small frying pan heat the oil. When begins to bubble, pour it on the tofu, sprinkle the bonito flakes and finish the dish with the soya sauce.

Photograph by Cristina Lanz-Azcarate
Recipe by Toru Saeki

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