Ingredients ( Serves 4 )
・25 g white sesame paste
・25 g cornstarch
・1½ cups water
・A pinch of salt
For the garnish
・A piece of root ginger
How to cook
- Mix the cornstarch, salt, and ½ cup of water. Boil the remaining 1 cup of water and set aside. Place the sesame paste in a pan and work in the cornstarch mixture slowly, a tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. After about 3 or 4 tablespoons of the cornstarch mixture have been added, you may add larger amounts of the cornstarch mixture. Once about half of the mixture has been blended in, add the remaining half. Mix well. Then gradually stir in the cup of hot water that has been set aside.
- Set the pan over medium heat, stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to low once the mixture comes to the boil. Stir constantly as the mixture thickens to ensure a uniform consistency. If the mixture is uneven, remove from the heat and stir to an even consistency before setting back over the heat. The mixture is ready when the wooden spoon run over the bottom of the pan will part the mixture and enable you to see the bottom of the pan, as shown in the photograph.
- Pour the mixture into a moistened mould and cover with a moistened sheet of plastic wrap. Place mould in a tray or bowl of water, taking care not to let any water get into the mixture. The mixture should set to a bouncy texture. It can be set by chilling it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
- Remove from the mould and cut into squares. Peel and grate the root ginger. Garnish each square with a little bit of grated ginger and pour over a little soy sauce.
- Shojin ryori(Buddhist cuisine)
- Goma-dofu is an example of Shojin ryori, the cuisine traditionally eaten by monks at Buddhist temples. This cuisine does not use any fish or meat in accordance with the Buddhist precept against the taking of life. It is based around grains, beans, and vegetables. Seasonings are used sparingly so as not to obscure the flavour of the original ingredients, and an effort is made to use up every part of the ingredients in order to avoid any waste.
Mere talk of this vegetarian cuisine might make some people feel like something is missing. A number of people, however, say it offers very delicious dishes and make a point of visiting temples to sample this Buddhist cuisine. There are also a number of restaurants specializing in shojin ryori. They are oriented toward women who are attracted to the highly nutritious yet low-calorie dishes.
Shojin ryori does not use any meat or fish, but it can create dishes which mimic their flavor and texture. They are referred to as modoki ryori or ‘mock’ or ‘imitation’ dishes. A mock version of grilled eel can be produced. The mock eel is fashioned from grated lotus root and yams, with nori seaweed being used to mimic the skin. The mock eel is then basted and grilled with a sweet and salty sauce just like a real eel. The mock dishes would help satisfy the monks’ craving for meat and fish, which they were not supposed to eat.