Kanako's Kitchen

Tofu salad with relish

Posted in Recipe, soup by Kanako Noda on January 16, 2010

How do you usually eat Tofu? In the Japanese repertoire, there are plenty of recipes to choose from, from Yu-dofu and Nabe to Miso soup, Kenchin-jiru, Agedashi tofu and Hiya-yakko, a popular fresh tofu recipe that I’ve not yet presented here.

In this recipe, I show you how to make a kind of fancied-up hiya-yakko using sesame oil rather than soy sauce. Why the need to fancy it up? Because, while simple Hiya-yakko sure is delicious, it’s just a little bit too plain a dish to serve guests. If you want to make a fresh tofu dish that’s sure to impress, this recipe is the solution for you.

A note of caution: these uncooked tofu recipes will turn out impossibly light and delicious if you use the right kind of tofu. Really, they live or die on the quality of the tofu you manage to get. In Kyoto, where silken tofu is a prized artesanal specialty made fresh each morning by traditional craftsmen, it’s hard to go wrong. Here in Montreal, where the tofu is ok but not necessarily fantastic, results can vary. Wherever you are, you should only try these using the best quality, softest silken tofu you can find.

And a tip: in North America, some quite decent Korean brands market this type of tofu as “extra silken”. That’s the kind you want.


  • Extra silken Tofu (do not try this with firm tofu!) – one block
  • Spring onions – a bunch
  • Garlic – a small piece
  • Ginger – a small piece
  • Shiso leaves (Optional) – three or four leaves
  • Sesame seeds – one teaspoon
  • Sesame oil -three table spoons
  • Salt (use fancy fleur de sel if you can get it) – a little less than one teaspoon


  1. Take out the tofu from the pack, remove gently the extra water and put the tofu on a plate.
    (On the image below the tofu is crumbled, ooops!)
  2. Chop the spring onions, garlic and ginger (and the shiso leaves, too) into small pieces.
  3. Add salt and sesame seeds to them, mix well.
  4. Place the relish on the tofu.
  5. In a small pan, heat the sesame oil until it starts to smoke.
  6. As soon as the oil starts to smoke, pour it on the tofu and relish.
  7. Serve cold

click to enlarge


4 Responses

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  1. wakkun said, on January 24, 2010 at 8:31 am


    Good day! This looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it.

    One question on shiso leaves please….I see something that looks like it in my Asian grocery store but it is labeled as “sesame leaves”. Is this the one and same thing?

    Thank you so much!

    • kanako said, on January 24, 2010 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Wakkun,
      in fact, in Korea they call it “sesame leaves”. So this is the same one!

  2. Wakkun said, on January 25, 2010 at 10:42 am


    Thanks for your prompt response! I can’t wait to go grab some at the asian grocery store next time to try out this dish!

    • kanako said, on January 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      Good luck! This is very easy and with Shiso it’ll be great.

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