Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pine Nut Tōfu Sauce, and a Japanese recipe book to help Japan's recovery efforts.

Today I am proposing a recipe extract from an ebook that I have just purchased: KIBŌ (Brimming with Hope. The Author is Elizabeth Andoh, a renowned Japanese food writer (also the author of Kansha  a book about Japanese Vegan and Vegetarian cuisine!)

The book is being sold online for under $US4, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Japan's recovery efforts. If you like to have a look inside the book, and for more sample recipes, please click here, where you will also find the links to purchase the book. You can also find the info on Amazon by clicking here.

Pine Nut Tōfu Sauce  (Matsu no Mi Shira Aéadapted from page 87:
KIBŌ (Brimming with Hope): Recipes & Stories from Japan’s Tohoku 
by Elizabeth Andoh (10 Speed, 2012).

Recipe Elizabeth Andoh, photographer Aya Brackett, stylist Karen Shinto

Reprinted with permission from Kibo ("Brimming with Hope"): Recipes and Stories from Japan's Tohoku by Elizabeth Andoh, copyright (c) 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

This nutty tōfu sauce comes to the Tohoku table in two ways: either mixed with fruit or tossed with greens. If you choose the fruit version, try fresh apples and dried apricots, cranberries, or blueberries, diced. The classic version, stuffed into a whole scooped out persimmon, is shown on page 71 of KIBŌ (photo on page 70), If you prefer, toss slightly bitter greens in the tōfu sauce; briefly blanched and coarsely chopped spinach or kale are good choices.

Recipe makes about 1 cup sauce, enough to make 6 to 8 small servings when mixed with fruit or blanched greens.

4 ounces (about 1/4 to 1/3 large block) tōfu, drained of packaging liquid
1/4 to 1/3 cup pine nuts (matsu no mi), un-toasted
Pinch of salt
Drop of mirin (syrupy rice wine)

Bring plain water to a vigorous boil, add the tōfu and cook it for 1 minute (begin counting from the time the water returns to a boil). With a slotted spoon, remove the tōfu, draining it well as you set it aside to toast and crush the pine nuts.

In a heavy skillet set over medium heat, dry roast the pine nuts, stirring them with a spatula or gently swirling the skillet to keep the nuts in motion. When aromatic and very lightly colored, about 2 minutes, remove the skillet from the stove. The nuts will continue to roast with retained heat so judge color on the light side. While still warm, transfer the nuts to a suribachi (grooved mortar) to crush them the old-fashioned way, or to the bowl of a mini-sized food processor the modern way.

If you are using a suribachi grind the nuts until completely crushed and slightly oily BEFORE adding the drained tōfu you set aside earlier. Continue to grind until the mixture is smooth and thick. Sprinkle with the salt and grind further. Finally, drizzle in a few drops of mirin. When ready to use, toss in your fruit or greens and mix. Serve family-style from the suribachi bowl, or divvy up into individual portions, mounded in small bowls or cups.

If you are using a mini food processor, pulse-process the nuts until crushed and slightly oily. Scrape down the sides BEFORE adding the drained tōfu you set aside earlier. Continue to pulse-process until the mixture is smooth and thick. Sprinkle with the salt, drizzle in a few drops of mirin and pulse to blend.

Scrape out the sauce and use immediately, or store in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

This ebook is really lovely and it has many vegetarian recipes, if you like, please have a look and spread the word.

And since I am talking about a cookbook I am also entering this post to the blogging event Cookbook Sundays, hosted by New Zealand blogger Sue of Couscous & Consciousness



  1. mmm looks delicious I love
    send free messages

  2. Wonderful Alessandra, thank you for helping spread the word about the KIBO project.

    Haven't seen any persimmon over here yet, but looking forward to them. They really say autumn to me. Meantime I've enjoyed this 'sauce' with spinach and plan to do a fruit version next. I love tofu but have never used it with fruit, really like fresh cheeses with fruit, so will be fun to try.

    Robyn, Waiheke Island

    1. Thank you for letting me know about the book in the first place Robyn!

  3. Tofu sauce is something very new to me, pictures looks great.

  4. E' giusto non dimenticare.

    Riesci sempre ad unire alla leggerezza della cucina l'impegno e la solidarietà!

    a presto


  5. Bella ricetta e bella iniziativa, come sempre è un grande piacere passare di qua :)

    1. Grazie, penso che questa la dovresti provare, si trova il tofu giapponese dalle tue parti? :-)

  6. Ale, davvero nobile questo post e molto bella la ricetta.Ora vado a sbrirciare il libro grazie!
    Un abbraccione

    1. Saretta, penso che ti piacerà, visto che ami tofu e cucina giapponese :-)

  7. I have never been a tofu fan but I would like to try this never the less. Diane

  8. I heard that they have another earthquake earlier this month which is no good at all. I was supposed to be there at the time too :(

  9. It looks so delicious!Buona giornata,carina!

  10. A me purtroppo il tofu non piace ma la ricetta si presenta benissimo, anche se questa volta la traduzione non è stata molto chiara ed ho capito poco :-))))
    Un bacione!

    1. Forse questa andrebbe bene per te perche' a volte chi non ama il tofu nei piatti salati lo riesce a mangiare nei piatti dolci e nelle salsine :-).

    2. PS

      se hai bisogno ti traduco la ricetta, ma se guardi solo gli ingredienti penso che capirai subito cosa fare, praticamente si tostano i pinoli e poi si fa un pesto con il tofu. Il mirin è un sake dolce che si usa per cucinare, al limite si può sostituire con un po' di zucchero o sciroppo di zucchero o anche un liquore dolce italiano :-).

  11. Ma che bello il tuo blog! E che affascinante la Nuova Zelanda!!! Verrò a curiosare spesso...così miglioro anche il mio inglese, ah ah ah!!! Se ti va passa a trovarmi!!! A presto!

  12. Ciao Alessandra! It's very kind and thoughtful of you to support Japan through this e-cookbook. Thank you for helping my country and its recovery from the terrible incident. This is very unique and delicious recipe. Very pretty!

  13. This is an intriguing recipe, Alessandra - I have never come across tofu treated in this way.

    Thank you for sharing this at Cookbook Sundays, and for introducing us to this e-cookbook - this to me is what Cookbook Sundays is all about. The people of Japan affected by the earthquake and tsunami have been through a terrible ordeal, and it is wonderful to come across and opportunity such as this to make a contribution.

    Sue xo

  14. I really liked your article and the photo is super. Thanks you.

  15. Very useful information for people, I think this is what everyone needs.

  16. Nice posts!
    Here is someone who could write your essay - .


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