Shira-ae is a tofu-based dish, usually with some boiled green vegetables and sea vegetables, either hijiki or arame. This recipe explains how to cook the hijiki and to mix it with the shira-ae sauce. Hijiki can sometimes look a bit scary as its strands of black, so mixing it with this creamy tofu sauce makes it easier for someone new to adding sea vegetables to your meals. You can swap the edamame beans with blanched or fresh spinach or just have it plain.
For the Shira-ae
- Add the dried hijiki to a large bowl, cover it with water and leave to soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Once it has rehydrated, drain and rinse.
- Heat a heavy pan on medium heat and add sesame oil and hijiki. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add some water.
- Leave on medium to low heat and let it simmer.
- Add Mikawa Mirin and shoyu and let it cook until the liquid is absorbed by the hijiki.
- Open the pack of tofu and drain the liquid. Place the tofu in a tea towel to remove some of the excess liquid before placing it in a large bowl or if you have a Japanese Suribachi (pestle and mortar).
- Add the tahini and tamari and start to mash the tofu.
- Add the cooked hijiki (around half of the cooked batch) and fold it in, don't mix it too much as it will get mushy.
- Add the cooked edamame beans and serve as a side dish.
Recipe by Lisa Dawson