Tofu Salad with Bonito Flakes and Roasted White Sweet Potatoes

Tofu salad has always been a comfort food for me. That might sound odd as tofu is a spongy, tasteless block of white protein. It’s one of the most versatile foods on the planet, maybe only second to eggs. Growing up in Los Angeles, Mishima was often frequented by my family on weeknights, usually after volleyball practice. Most run of the mill sushi restaurants will have this salad, aptly called “Tofu Salad” on the menu. But you never know what you’re getting. Sometimes you get miso dressing, sometimes carrot ginger. I’m more of a miso fan and my favorite brand is called Red Shell, found here. 

Tofu Salad With Bonito Flakes

The trick to this salad is to get it really cold. Chill everything, including the tomatoes for at least two hours before assembling.

Makes enough for 2 as a starter

You will need:

1/2 block soft tofu (medium or firm will not taste good)

1/4 cup Red Shell miso dressing (or any asian style dressing will do)

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups (approximately) of very cold iceburg lettuce, chopped into small pieces

1/4 cup bonito flakes 

Method: 

1. In two serving bowls, arrange 1 cup of lettuce in each. Place tomatoes on top, along with 1/2 of the tofu. Be carful cutting the tofu as it is very soft. Drench in dressing and sprinkle with bonito flakes.

Roasted white Sweet Potatoes

As you may already know my favorite cooking method is dousing in olive oil and roasting. This time, japanese sweet potatoes get the treatment and come out caramelized and insanely delicious.

Makes enough for 4 as a side dish (trust me, out of the oven, these wont last long)

You will need:

4 Japanese sweet potatoes (the skin is deep purple and the flesh is white)

1/4 cup olive oil

generous pinchings of salt

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 375. Chop the sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces (about 3/4 inch cubes)

2. In a large bowl, coat the sweet potatoes in most of the olive oil (save a little to drizzle on the baking sheet and on top) and a pinch of salt.

3. Drizzle oil on a large rimmed baking sheet also known as a sheet pan. If you use a cookie sheet, the oil will bubble and drip and cause a fire or ruin your oven, trust me I have done both. Pour the potatoes and any oil from the bowl onto the pan in a single layer. Salt again. Bake for about 20 minutes so that the bottom side of the sweet potatoes are crispy and brown. Then, shake the pan or use a fork to move them around a bit, cook for another 20 minutes.

 

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