Monday, 3 November 2014

Asparagus Shiraae

Asparagus is in season, and I have a Japanese food craving. Irreconcilable? I do not think this word means what you think it means! I went out on a limb and tried the most unusual (to me) recipe from The Guardian's Top Ten Asparagus Recipes. This definitely isn't for everyone... I can imagine the texture would really be off-putting for people who don't like jelly. But if you know you like soft tofu and sesame, give this a try. The recipe said serves four... well, that was total nonsense. Served two of us, with plain boiled rice and nasu dengaku to go with.


  • 300g soft/silken tofu
  • 200g asparagus
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp miso
  • Salt

Drain the tofu from the packet, wrap it in plenty of kitchen paper, put it on a plate and place a weight on top of it to squeeze the water out. Leave the tofu for 30 minutes, until it weighs around 180g. Remove the woody part of the asparagus, then cut each spear diagonally into thirds.Bring some water to the boil in a saucepan, then add a little salt and lightly cook the asparagus for a few minutes. It should still be firm when drained. Cool the spears under cold running water and pat them dry.

Put the tofu in a bowl and add the ground sesame seeds, sugar, light soy sauce and miso and mix thoroughly. Add the asparagus to the bowl and mix into the dressing, seasoning with extra salt if required. Serve!

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