I had a large shopping accident at amazon.co.jp the other day, and one of the books I bought was 豆腐でおうちゃくダイエット (toufu de ouchaku daietto), which appears to translate as
Lazy Diet with Tofu! It’s in the Orange Page シンパルマクロビオティック (Simple Macrobiotics) series, so I suppose it makes sense in a way. This recipe is from that book.
100g (3.5 oz.) tofu (it says “cotton”. I used firm silken)
2 tbl black sesame seeds
1 tbl rice syrup (I used maple syrup, which works surprisingly well in Japanese food)
2 tbl black sesame paste (see note)
½ cup water
Blend it all thoroughly and serve in a glass over ice. Sprinkle a few more black sesame seeds on for decoration.
Note: Japanese black sesame paste is unobtainium, at least in the UK. It’s not sweetened. You can make it by roasting a couple of tablespoons of black sesame, then grinding them. If there is not enough oil to make it into a paste, add a teaspoon or two of sesame oil. Chinese black sesame paste is available from Chinese supermarkets. This has been sweetened, so if you use it reduce the amount of syrup.
Update 15th April 2008: Arigato on Brewer Street in London sell black sesame paste in handy resealable pouches.
The recipe below is sort-of translated from 野菜ごはん (“Vegetable Meals”) by 月森紀子 (Noriko Tsukimori), published by Bunka last March. Ms. Tsukimori runs a macrobiotic restaurant in Tokyo, and her cookbook is entirely vegan.
1 red chili pepper
1 cup dashi
1 tbl brown rice miso
1 tbl white miso
2 tbl mirin
2 tsp shoyu
1 tbl sweetner
1 tbl sesame oil
Cut the cucumber into even bite-size pieces and place to one side.
Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan and add the chili pepper. When the aroma rises, take it out (if you must – I didn’t!). Add the dashi and cucumber to the pan. Mix the ingredients for A, and add to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
If it didn’t thicken nicely, drain it!
* Japanese cucumbers are very small. I used one Western one.
* There is recipe in the book for a konbu and shiitake dashi. I just used my faithful vegan instant konbu dashi. In future, when using western cucumber, I will halve the quantity of dashi.
* The recipe uses beet sugar for sweetening. I used brown rice syrup.
* My partner thinks this recipe turns cucumber into aubergine. It would work well with aubergine or courgette instead of cucumber. It should be quite nice cold, too.
* I’d also add half the miso at the end of cooking.
* A kanji meaning “strong” is used with the sesame oil. I take this to mean a nice, flavoursome one.