Kale in Peanut Butter–Tofu Sauce
by Hiroko Shimbo
from Hiroko's American Kitchen: Cooking with Japanese Flavors
Puréed, creamy tofu and sesame paste dressing
flavored with shoyu (soy sauce), mirin (sweet cooking wine), sugar, and salt is
a classic favorite that is often used in Japan to dress lightly cooked vegetables.
This recipe tweaks the preparation for an American kitchen: you crumble the
tofu with a fork, then pair it with peanut butter to create a different taste
and texture. Even people who sometimes shun tofu say this dressing is
3 Tbs. peanut butter or other nut/seed butter
3 Tbs. low-sodium chicken stock, warmed
1 tsp. shoyu (soy sauce)
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 block extra-firm or firm tofu (7 oz.)
5 cups thinly julienned kale with stems
1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts or
white sesame seeds
Using a spatula, mix and soften the peanut
butter with the warm stock in a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, honey, salt, and
black pepper and mix thoroughly.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut the tofu
in half crosswise, add the tofu to the boiling water, and cook for 1 minute.
Drain the tofu and wrap each piece in doubled paper towels, squeezing firmly to
remove excess water. Do not worry about breaking the tofu, as you are going to
crumble it later. Remove the tofu from the paper towels and transfer it to the
bowl with the peanut butter. With a fork, crumble the tofu into very small
pieces and mix it with the sauce. Add the kale and two-thirds of the peanuts to
the bowl and toss the mixture thoroughly.
Divide the salad into small bowls, garnish with the remaining peanuts, and serve.
Photo: Frances Janisch