Spinach and Sesame Tofu Salad with Pickled Ginger
Asian-style spinach salad with tofu, sesame seeds and pickled ginger.
1 bunch (about 1 pound) spinach
1/2 carton soft tofu or 1 aseptic box firm silken tofu
2 tablespoons black and/or white sesame seeds
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon water
4 teaspoons dark-sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry or rice wine
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1 heaping tablespoon slivered pickled ginger
- Fill a wide skillet with water and bring to a boil. Wash the spinach well, discarding the stems and any yellow or bruised leaves. Retrieve 8 of the crowns (the stems that are joined at the roots) and wash them, too. Cut the tofu into small cubes.
- When the water boils, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the spinach. Cook until just wilted, turning it a few times with a pair of tongs, then lift the spinach into a strainer and rinse under cool water. Set aside. Add the crowns to the pan, cook for about 15 seconds, then remove and rinse. Turn off the heat and slide the tofu into the water. Let sit for 1 minute, and then carefully remove onto paper toweling to dry.
- Roast the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet until fragrant, then remove to a plate. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Squeeze the water out of the spinach and chop, neither too fine nor too coarse. Set in a bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and about two-thirds of the sesame seeds. Taste and add more dressing, if desired. Distribute the spinach among 4 small plates, then place the tofu around and on top. Spoon more dressing over the tofu (you probably won't use it all), then garnish with the slivered, pickled ginger and remaining sesame seeds. Place 2 spinach crowns on each plate and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Variation: Green and White Rice Salad: Finely chop the cooked spinach and add it along with the sesame seeds to 2 cups freshly cooked warm white rice, a finely diced cucumber, and 2 finely slivered green onions. Toss well, then add the tofu and toss once before serving so as not to break it up.