Koya-tofu is a tofu that has been frozen, then dried. Cook in tasty dashi, and let it soak up the broth really well.
Photographed by Shin Ebisu
Beans & Tofu
- 4 Koya-tofu (processed with baking soda)Note
Tofu that is frozen, then dried.
- 1 kombu kelp (110 x 160 mm)
- 450 ml water
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp mirinNote
Sake made with alcohol and rice-malt, mixed into glutinous rice, then fermented. In Japan, it is used to add luster and to sweeten ingredients.
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp usukuchi soy sauceNote
Popular soy-sauce originating in Kansai region. Light-colored, yet salty. Good for keeping the raw taste and color of the ingredients.
- 6 green beans
Make kombu dashi. Soak the kombu in the water for 20 minutes or so.
If the beans have strings, remove and boil in lightly salted water. Cut into easy-to-eat lengths.
Soak the Koya-tofu in a tray filled with water or lukewarm water. When the tofu is fully reconstituted, press between your palms to squeeze out any excess liquid. Cut into four pieces.
When reconstituting Koya-tofu processed in baking soda, always use water or lukewarm water, never hot. Be sure to press the tofu between your palms to drain it thoroughly. Any excess water will prevent the tofu from absorbing the flavorful simmering liquid. It will also make it susceptible to crumbling. Cut the tofu into easy-to-eat pieces before simmering. When using Koya-tofu that is free of baking soda, soak in hot water until fully reconstituted.
Warm the kombu dashi over medium heat and remove the kombu just before the water comes to a boil. Add [A] and lay the tofu flat in the liquid. To prevent the slices from overlapping, it's best to use a wide shallow pot. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the green beans just before the tofu is done, turn off the heat and let the tofu cool in the liquid to fully absorb the flavor. (Don't cook the green beans too long as this will dull the color. )
When the tofu has fully absorbed the flavorful liquid, it's ready to serve.
Even if you want to serve the tofu hot, it's best to let the tofu cool in the liquid to soak up the flavor, and then reheat before serving.