A simple, light meal making the most of core Japanese flavours. Oven-baked tofu cubes with sesame oil, served with a seaweed salad made from dried wakame, which can be found in Asian grocers. Rice on the side.
- 400 g (2 cups) white medium grain rice
- 450 g block firm tofu
- ½ cup dried wakame
- sesame oil, for drizzling
- salt, to season
- toasted sesame seeds, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Rinse the rice 3 times, then cook in a rice cooker according to manufacturer's instructions or follow the packet instructions for the absorption method.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C. Remove the tofu from the packet and drain the water, then place on a plate lined with several layers of paper towel. Cover with another few layers of paper towel, then a plate and stand for 5 – 10 minutes to press out more of the liquid.
- Place dried wakame in a large bowl of water (you need a lot of water, the seaweed expands!) Set aside.
- Remove the paper from the drained tofu, then cut into 8 even cubes. Place the tofu on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle a generous amount of sesame oil over the top and season with salt. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, turning half-way through. The tofu should be crisp but not too dry.
- Drain the wakame, squeeze out the excess water, then place into a serving bowl. Drizzle with sesame oil and scatter with sesame seeds. Serve with the steamed rice and baked tofu.
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Photography by Adam Liaw.