Thursday, April 8, 2010

Furikake Tofu with Sake Spinach

My latest cookbook obsession is Everyday Harumi, which I picked up at the Harvard Book Store last week after reading about it on Saveur's Top 100 List. Harumi Kuirhara is a housewife turned TV star in Japan. She has been called the Martha Stewart of Japan, but from this cookbook, that does not seem quite apt. Harumi is sweet, kind, and warm and her recipes are elegant and simple. I love her emphasis on textures and vegetables. I had never thought about how ginger tastes different when it is minced, grated, and julienned.

These recipes are inspired by Harumi, though not from her cookbook itself. I was actually introduced to both dishes by my parents, who like this for a quick weeknight meal. I don't usually eat rice (all my time in China instilled in me that it's filler food!), but I think these recipes lend themselves well to being served over steamed Japanese rice.

A note on furikake: it is a delicious Japanese condiment that comes in a wide variety of mixtures and is meant to be sprinkled over food. The kind I use is called nori katsuo furikake and consists of toasted sesame seeds, nori, bonito flakes, dried egg, and other seasonings. I bought this one at the Super 88 in Allston, but I think you should be able to track it down at Whole Foods or other specialty food shops.

Furikake Tofu
serves 2
  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
  • soy sauce
  • furikake
  • canola or peanut oil for cooking
Drain and slice tofu into 1/2 inch slices along the short horizontal (like you are slicing a loaf of bread). Place tofu on a plate lined with paper towels. By drying the tofu, it will color better when cooked. Over high heat, heat a nonstick frying pan big enough to hold all the tofu. When hot, pour in just enough oil to lightly coat surface. Add tofu slices and cook until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Flip slices and cook until the other side is golden. Remove from heat and drizzle with soy sauce and sprinkle with scallions and furikake.

Sake Spinach
serves 2
  • 1 10 oz bag spinach (not baby spinach!)
  • canola or peanut oil
  • salt
  • 1 1/2 t sake (you can substitute dry vermouth)
  • a couple squeezes of fresh lemon juice
  • sesame seeds to garnish
Rinse the pan used for the tofu. Return to high heat and add 1 t canola oil. When hot, add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and roughly chop. Season with salt, sake, and lemon juice to taste. Serve garnished with sesame seeds.

Special THANK YOU to Uncle Daniel & Aunt Jill for the beautiful bamboo serving plate!


  1. Wahoo! So excited about trying this one - looks beautiful, and vegetarian to boot! You're a culinary inspiration xoxo

  2. thank you, m'dear! let me know if you need some furikake -- i've got tons!

  3. I just tried my hand at these two recipes, and they both worked a treat. Thanks for sharing them :)