torigara tofu

i used the word “torigara” here because  you wouldn’t look twice if this dish were called “chicken carcass tofu.”  it just doesn’t have the same ring.  this recipe is truly mind-numbingly easy, but as with most easy recipes, the beast is in the little things.

you’ll need:

  • a root of fresh ginger
  • 300g of soft tofu
  • 1 or 2 stalks of garlic sprouts
  • homemade chicken stock (or torigara soup mix)
  1. drain the tofu.  don’t ask questions.  take it out of the package carefully (if you break it, you dish is already ugly and everyone will hate you.  not really, but don’t break it, okay?), wrap it in two paper towels, put it on a cutting board or a plate, and then set a cutting board and a big heavy bowl or a book on top.  you will be amazed at the water that comes out in the course of 20 minutes.
  2. the watery content of tofu is why a lot of people hate it.  that water, being packaged with the tofu, has a very concentrated soy flavor that a lot of people find chemically and inedible.  do away with it, and all the space that that water occupied is yours to fill with the flavor of your choice.
  3. peel and finely mince some ginger.  be careful; fresh ginger is mighty stuff.  a whole root is knock you on your butt.  use a half, or even a quarter.  you are adding flavor soup, not making a soup out of ginger.  while you are at it, wash your garlic sprouts, cut off the ends, and chop them into half inch lengths.
  4. add water to a pot, bring it to boil, and add your soup mix.  once it starts to boil, add the ginger, and let it boil for a while until your ginger is nice and soft.  once it looks and tastes ready, kill the heat and add the garlic sprouts.  don’t overdo the garlic sprouts.  the goal is to wilt them, not to cook them into oblivion.  direct heat will cause that to happen very quickly.  they should be soft, yet still have texture.
  5. unwrap your dear tofu, cut into two beautiful cubes, and place in a shallow bowl.  pour the piping hot soup over the top.  gold soup, white tofu, and green sprouts.  delicate in appearance and flavor, and sure to impress the guests.

makes a side dish for 2

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