I’m in two places at once today! Go see my Friday Favorites post over at Steamy Kitchen. Jaden, the author of Steamy Kitchen and soon to be released cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, is crazy enough to have recently taken me on as an intern!
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” — Leonardo da Vinci
Ok, if you’ve gone through the process of making your own tofu, now you’ve got tofu and okara (the pulp leftover from making the soy milk). But what do you do with them? There are literally thousands of recipes out there that use tofu, but this is special tofu we’re talking about here. This is tofu you made with your own two hands! You can’t just throw that into some random recipe! One of the reasons that I love Japanese food is that it celebrates simplicity. As a busy mom this is an aesthetic that I can get behind! I personally think that some of the best tofu recipes are the simple ones, especially for homemade tofu. After going to the trouble to make it, I don’t want to go and disguise it under some heavy sauce, I want to highlight and enjoy its wonderful flavor and creamy texture.
One of my favorite ways to eat fresh homemade tofu is in a dish called Hiya-yakko, or chilled tofu. Hiya-yakko is easy to make. It is simply freshly made tofu, chilled and then served with condiments and a bit of soy sauce. As far as condiments go, it’s whatever sounds good to you. Some popular condiments are thinly sliced leeks/green onions, grated ginger, crushed/minced garlic, wasabi, and grated daikon. In the past week I’ve eaten hiya-yakko twice. The first time I used a firm tofu I made using nigari as the coagulant. I cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes, drizzled it with a bit of soy sauce, and then topped it with a bit of grated ginger, some shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice), and some thinly sliced green onion.
The second time I used a softer tofu I made using apple cider vinegar as the coagulant. I broke up the tofu into rough chunks, drizzled it with a bit of soy sauce and a few drops of toasted sesame oil, and then topped it with thinly sliced fresh basil from my garden.
Now what about that okara? As mentioned before, okara is the pulp left behind when soy milk is extracted from soybeans.
Okara is a light beige color and is crumbly (it kind of reminds me of coarse cornmeal). Okara is rich in dietary fiber, protein, and calcium and can be used in a variety of ways. One popular use is as a replacement for part of the flour in baking, yielding lighter baked goods. Fresh okara spoils quickly, so make sure to use it within 24 hours. My favorite way to use it is to make what I call Okara Crumble, a crumbly, nutty, and slightly sweet mixture that I like to sprinkle on all kinds of things like yogurt, fresh fruit, and ice cream.
It’s also wonderful if you add nuts and coconut, pour a bit of milk over it and eat it like granola. It smells AMAZING when it’s roasting, and when it’s cooling if you don’t watch out it will disappear because little munchkins will start grabbing handfuls of it and gobbling it down.
I make it, put it in glass jars, and keep it in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
Makes 2 1/4 cups
3 cups okara
1/2 cup honey
3 Tbsp. oil
2 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
3. Spread out in an even layer in a large shallow pan (I use a shallow roasting pan) and roast, stirring occasionally, for 50 to 60 minutes, or until brown, crumbly, and fragrant.