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Categories: Main courses, Salads, Vegetarian

Spinach and Sesame Tofu Salad With Pickled Ginger

Last August, I arrived in New York during a heat wave. After a long day of travel and traffic, I was hungry but too hot to have much of an appetite. I walked to a Japanese restaurant across the street ... Read more

Total time: 45 minutes | Serves 4
Note: A cool but intense little salad, good for an evening first course or light lunch for two. Look for pickled ginger at sushi counters in well-stocked supermarkets.

Dressing

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry or rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Step 1Combine dry mustard, water, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, Sherry, salt, ginger, garlic and sugar in bowl. Set aside. Makes 1/2 cup.

Assembly

  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) spinach
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces soft or silken tofu, drained
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, black and/or white
  • 1 heaping tablespoon slivered, pickled ginger

Step 1Fill wide skillet with water and bring to boil. Wash spinach well, discarding stems and any yellow or bruised leaves. Reserve 8 of the crowns (the stems that are joined at the roots) and wash them too. Cut tofu into small cubes.

Step 2When water boils, add 1 teaspoon salt and spinach. Cook just until wilted, turning it a few times with tongs, then lift spinach into strainer and rinse under cool water. Set aside. Add crowns to pan, cook about 15 seconds, then remove and rinse. Turn off heat and slide tofu into water. Let sit 1 minute, then remove onto paper towels to dry.

Step 3Roast sesame seeds in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Step 4Squeeze water out of spinach and chop, neither too fine nor too coarsely. Set in bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons dressing and about two-thirds sesame seeds. Taste and add more dressing, if desired. Distribute spinach among 4 small plates, then place tofu around and on top. Spoon more dressing over tofu, then garnish with slivered, pickled ginger and remaining sesame seeds. Place 2 spinach crowns on each plate and serve.

Each serving:
186 calories; 1,046 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 11 grams fat; 11 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 1.42 grams fiber.
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