This is one of the most traditional tofu recipes in Japan. The classic recipe is slightly sweeter than my version. I also used soft instead of firm tofu for a silkier texture. To avoid achieving a watery flavour you will need to remove any excess water from the tofu before using it.
Serves 2 - 4 as a side
Preparation time - 20 mins ( + 30mins soaking & pressing time)
- Kitchen Paper/towel Bowl
- Food Processor (Optional) Spatula
- Drain the tofu and wrap in thick kitchen papers or a tea towel (2-3 layers). Put a weight on it (like a plate) and let it rest for at least 30 minutes to remove any excess water. This process makes the tofu even firmer to avoid a watery texture.
- Wash the arame then soak it in water for 30 minutes. (It will double in volume.) Drain well.
- Bring some water to the boil and add the watercress. Boil for 1 minute then drain. Rinse the watercress in cold running water to preserve its colour. Drain well, then sprinkle a little soy sauce to give a light flavour. Squeeze out any excess water from the leaves. Squeeze the watercress in your hands into a cylinder-like shape and cut into 3cm length.
- Make the tofu paste: in a food processor, add the tofu, maple syrup, sesame paste, soy sauce, and salt. Blend well until smooth. (if you don’t have a food processor, use your hands or a tool to mash the tofu, then season.)
- Dress the leaves and arame with the tofu paste. Serve cold.
Founder of Atsuko’s Kitchen A well-established Japanese chef, cookbook author of Sushi Made Simple and Atsuko’s Japanese Kitchen and food photographer. She has been sharing her knowledge and techniques of Japanese cooking with a series of classes at Atsuko’s Kitchen in London since 2008, which introduces family favourites, alongside the art of sushi making.
Website - atsukoskitchen.com