Serves 4 to 6 | Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes, plus 2 hours marinating
14 ounces firm tofu, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick squares
2 cups boiling water
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup mirin
4 teaspoons sugar
¼ ounce wakame
¼ ounce kombu
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 sheets (8 by 7½-inch) toasted nori, crumbled
2 scallions, sliced thin on bias
Toasted sesame oil
Refrigerate marinated tofu for up to 2 days.
To add fragrant spice and crunch, sprinkle tofu with Shichimi Togarashi.
Serve tofu as a cool counter-point to grilled meats such as Keftedes or use it to complement the flavor of Pajeon .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Marinated raw tofu (hiyayakko or yakko-dofu) is a popular bar snack in Japan. In the best renditions, a flavorful marinade and some choice garnishes amplify the tofu’s delicate sweetness. The marinade is typically a soy sauce–enhanced dashi, the Japanese broth prepared from kombu seaweed and bonito (skipjack tuna) flakes. We replace it with a combination of wakame seaweed, fish sauce, mirin, and sugar, which produces a sweet, salty, robust marinade. Garnishes such as crumbled nori, sliced scallions, and toasted sesame oil add crunch and richness. For an accurate measurement of boiling water, bring a kettle of water to a boil and then measure out the desired amount. For a vegetarian dish, you can swap in either BraggLiquid Aminos or a vegetarian fish sauce substitute for the fish sauce.
1 Spread tofu over paper towel–lined baking sheet, let drain for 20 minutes, then gently press dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
2 Meanwhile, combine boiling water, fish sauce, mirin, sugar, wakame, and kombu in small bowl. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Strain liquid through fine-mesh strainer, discarding solids, then return broth to medium bowl.
3 Add tofu and vinegar; cover; and refrigerate until cool, at least 2 hours. To serve, use slotted spoon to transfer tofu to platter, top with nori and scallions, and drizzle with sesame oil to taste.