4 Sep 2010

Cheese Tofu

I know this is another tofu recipe, but I've been wanting to post this one for a while, in fact ever since the guy who runs one of my favorite eating and drinking dens shared the recipe with me. At Uradori, the aptly named back street restaurant where this is served (uradori means 'back street' in Japanese), it comes as an appetizer with the first drink you order (this custom being one of the many things that endears me to eating out in Tokyo), and I always save it to savor after I've taken the edge off my appetite - it's that good. I'm finding it also works in salads and cold noodle dishes, but the best way to eat it is as an hors d'oeuvres (the shiso leaves are optional; it tastes just great all by itself). 

I've had to fudge the liquid volumes a bit as there's some debate as to the size of a 'renge' (ramen spoon) - the measure used here, but it seems to have worked. I still can't quite get over the fact that this guy was willing to share his recipe with me - restaurant owners are normally so cagey about what goes into the dishes they serve, not that you can blame them; but he didn't just offer me a vague list of ingredients, he handed me his recipe file!
The recipe also calls for agar-agar, or kanten, but I'm guessing gelatin would work just as well. 

Cheese Tofu (serves 32 as a bite-sized appetizer)
1 block of tofu (the recipe doesn't specify, but I used silken tofu)
120g cream cheese
75cc water
50cc sake
25cc reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons single cream
4g agar-agar (or gelatin)

Drain and press the tofu to remove any excess liquid. Heat the water, sake, soy sauce and cream over a low flame; add the agar-agar and stir until the powder has fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
Blend the tofu and cream cheese together in a food processor. Stir this into the warm liquid ingredients, then heat gently over a low flame to combine. 
Pour the mixture into a rectangular tupperware container and chill in the refrigerator before cutting. 

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