Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fluffy "Shira-ae" with Kabocha and Haricot Vert

"Shira-ae" is a very popular dish in Japan. It's basically vegetables, tossed with creamy tofu paste.

I got kabocha pumpkin and haricot vert in the fridge, so I made a quick shira-ae with these ingredients. I tweaked my regular recipe, and made it with the silky tofu and also added a little kefir at the end. So, the tofu paste was really fluffy and nice. (If you want to make vegan style, you can do without kefir.) Here's the recipe.


Fluffy Shira-ae with Kabocha and Haricot Vert

1/2 pound kabocha pumpkin, cooked to tender texture
2-3 oz haricot vert, cut into 1/3 length and blanched to crisp tender
9 oz silky tofu, drained with a weight for 30 minutes
1.5 tablespoon white sesame seeds, roasted and ground
1.5 tablespoon white soy sauce ("shiro shoyu")
1.5 tablespoon white sesame paste (tahini paste is fine)
2 teaspoons agave nectar
1-1.5 tablespoons kefir
some salt

1. By using mortar and pestle, mash the tofu to a fine paste.
2. Add the sesame seeds, soy sauce, sesame paste, agave nectar, and kefir, one by one and mash with the pestle each time. Add some salt if necessary.
3. Add the kabocha and haricot vert and mix by a spatula.
4. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.

"Shira-ae" makes a wonderful appetizer or side dish.