Dinner, 8/13/09. Context: back home from a mountain bike ride at 7:30, hungry, and wanted a quick salad with some protein. We ate this with some left over homemade whole wheat bread, and a poached egg each.
I only call this "Japanese style" because I use mirin, an ingredient in Japanese cooking. Mirin is a sweetened rice wine. It definitely makes the salad. I almost always cook tofu before using it, but here it's raw so it imparts a nice coolness to temper the dressing. With a food processor, this is a really quick salad.
1/3 bunch of parsley
1-2 cloves garlic
3/4 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 t. soy sauce
2 t. mirin
2 t. rice wine vinegar
1 T. hot chili flavored oil (this oil is a mixture and contains some sesame oil, you could substitute sesame oil, but I like the hotness of the chili)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 lb carrots
1/3 lb radishes
1 12 oz block of firm or extra firm tofu, pressed**
Black pepper, to taste
1. While the tofu is being pressed, blend all ingredients listed under dressing in food processor (or blender). Transfer dressing to bowl.
2. Replace food processor blade with grating disc (don't clean the workbowl). Grate the carrots and radishes, in two batches, then transfer to the dressing bowl.
3. Dice tofu into 1/3 inch cubes and transfer to bowl. Toss well, add pepper to taste. Like many slaws, it'll get better with time.
**Pressing tofu. I am convinced pressing tofu is essential to almost any tofu dish. It removes some of the water so that your sauce or dressing can get at the tofu, and so that the water doesn't leave the tofu and make for a watery sauce or dressing. Directions: drain tofu. Wrap block of tofu in a clean kitchen towel. Place something heavy on the block of tofu, such as a cast iron skillet, for at least 10 minutes.
This recipe is very adaptable to other veggies: turnips, kohlrabi, cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli would all be welcome at the party. Cilantro instead of parsley might make it even better, but parsley was what the CSA gave us!