Every week on the Good Food Blog we celebrate Meatless Monday by sharing a vegetarian recipe from our archives.
Victoria Riccardi is the author of Untangling My Chopsticks: A Culinary Sojourn in Kyoto, published by Broadway Books. She first shared this recipe for Zen Temple Tofu on August 30, 2003.
Keep reading for the full recipe…
Zen Temple Tofu
- 1 cup hulled white sesame seeds
- 3 Tablespoons crumbled kudzu (a Japanese starch, found in Asian markets)
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
- 12 teaspoons soy sauce
- Wasabi paste for garnish
Place 2 1/2 cups water and the sesame seeds in a blender. Cover and whip for 5 minutes to render the mixture as smooth as possible. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a medium saucepan, pushing on the sieve with the back of a spoon, and then squeeze the cheesecloth into a ball, pressing the ball until you have nothing more than a damp paste in the cheesecloth. You have about 2 1/2 cups of “sesame milk.”
Whisk the kudzu and salt in to the sesame milk until the kudzu is completely dissolved. Whisk the mixture constantly over low heat for 10 minutes. It will thicken and bubble. Remove from the heat and pour into 6 small ramekins that have been rinsed with cold water (this will prevent the custard from sticking.) Let them rest until firm, then cover with plastic wrap and chill until cold.
To serve, gently shake the ramekins, or run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen the “tofu.” Turn out onto small dishes (square if possible, since the Japanese like contrasting shapes). Spoon 2 teaspoons of soy sauce around the bottom of each tofu circle and top with a little squirt of wasabi.