The Yomiuri ShimbunIn the world of yakuzen medicinal cuisine, tofu is categorized as a food that "cools down the body." Hiyayakko cold tofu is a typical dish in which to enjoy this product, but increasing your repertoire will help you better remove heat from your body. Cook Hiromi Takeuchi, who holds the qualification of international Chinese medical dietitian, shares cool tofu recipes.
Takeuchi explained the reason tofu is suited to surviving hot days. "In the world of Chinese medicinal cuisine, the characteristics of foods are classified into five categories — cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot. Tofu, which is included in the cool category, is said to have the effect of removing heat from the body," she said.
Tofu comes in two basic types: kinu or "silk" tofu, which is very soft, and momen or "cotton" tofu, which is relatively firm. The three recipes in this story call for momen tofu.
Carrot, beans with mashed tofu
Takeuchi’s first recipe is good for your vitamin intake as well as giving you protein from the tofu.
Cut the carrot into thin strips, put in a pot and add a pinch of salt. When a little water comes out of the carrot, roast over low to medium heat for two to three minutes until the strips become soft. Add one tablespoon of water and cover the pot. Steam for about two minutes.
Steaming the carrot prevents it from losing nutrition and flavor, as happens when it is boiled normally.
To drain the water from the tofu, place it on a zaru bamboo colander and cool in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
Boil the edamame in their pods before removing the beans from the pods. Grind the mixed nuts in a food processor. Add drained tofu, half to one tablespoon of sugar, two-thirds of a teaspoon of soy sauce and one pinch of salt, then combine further in the processor. Use this mixture to dress the carrot strips and green soybeans.
The sweetness of the nuts stands out in this dish, giving it a Western-style flavor.
Tofu seasoned with miso
The second recipe shared has a cheese-like flavor and goes well with alcoholic drinks.
Wrap tofu in paper towels and sandwich between a pair of cutting boards or flat dishes. Leave for 15 to 25 minutes to press out water. Paper towels draw water out of the tofu quickly as the paper absorbs moisture well.
Next, remove paper towels, cover tofu with cotton cooking gauze and coat with miso. Put in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. The flavor of the miso will be absorbed by the tofu, but the cooking gauze makes it easier to remove excess miso from the tofu later.
Take the tofu out of the refrigerator and remove the gauze. Cut the tofu, mizuna, avocado and tomato into evenly sized pieces, then arrange together on a plate.
The strong flavor of miso, the sharp taste of tomato and the avocado harmonize well.
Marinated tofu, veggies
This recipe has a sour flavor that is refreshing. Drain the tofu in the same way as in the second recipe.
Cut the drained tofu into 3-centimeter cubes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and coat with flour. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and saute the tofu cubes until browned.
Coating the tofu in flour makes it crisp when fried.
Cut the onion, carrot and green peppers into thin strips. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a pan and fry the onion. Add the carrot after the onion has been thoroughly coated with oil and fry. Sprinkle with a suitable amount of seasoned salt and 1 tablespoon of cooking sake. Add the green pepper and corn and fry. After adding two-thirds to 1 tablespoon of white vine vinegar and wholegrain mustard, turn off the heat. Mix the vegetables and tofu and let them cool naturally. Cool further in the refrigerator before eating.
"Tofu suits any kind of food. Add various kinds of nutrition by serving it with summer vegetables," Takeuchi said.
Carrot and edamame with mashed tofu
100 grams edamame green soybeans
(50 grams shelled beans)
120 grams momen tofu
30 grams mixed nuts
Tofu seasoned with miso
½ block momen tofu
150 grams miso
Mizuna potherb mustard, as desired
Tofu and vegetables dressed with white wine vinegar
(Serves 2 to 3)
1 block momen tofu
2 tbsp flour
1 small onion
1 green pepper
3 tbsp sweet corn
½ tsp wholegrain mustard
White wine vinegar
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