Five Vegetables With Tofu Dressing
|Dried shiitake mushrooms||3|
|Carrot piece||1 (4-Inch Piece)|
|Deep fried tofu/1 small red apple||2⁄3 Ounce (Aburage, 20 Grams)|
|Water/Secondary bonito stock||2 Cup (32 tbs)|
|Soy sauce||1 Tablespoon|
|For tofu dressing|
|Regular tofu||10 Ounce (1 Cake Or 285 Grams)|
|White sesame seeds||3 Tablespoon|
|Soy sauce||1⁄4 Teaspoon|
1. Soak mushrooms in warm water until soft (about 1 hour), keeping them submerged by covering with drop-lid, flat pan lid, or saucer. Drain. Discard stems and cut caps into strips 1/4 inch (3/4 cm) wide.
2. Peel carrot and cucumber. Cut into rectangular strips 1 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/8 inches (4 x 1 1/2 x 1/2 cm). Cut whole green beans in half.
3. Place aburage in colander and rinse with boiling water. Cut aburage in half lengthwise, stack halves, then cut crosswise into strips 1/4 inch (3/4 cm) wide.
4. Combine green beans, aburage, mushrooms, and carrot in a medium-sized saucepan. Barely cover with water (or bonito stock). Add sugar and soy sauce. Boil gently over medium heat until liquid is nearly absorbed and vegetables are tender (10-12 minutes) but not soggy. (Except aburage, which will be soggy.) Cool.
5. Sprinkle cucumber lightly with salt and mix by hand. Set aside until cucumber softens. Squeeze out excess liquid by hand or with cheesecloth.
6. Slip whole tofu cake into a pot of boiling water for 5 or 6 seconds, then immediately transfer to a square of cheesecloth in a colander. Bring cheesecloth around tofu and twist ends gently to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
7. TOFU DRESSING: Toast and grind sesame seeds. Puree tofu in a blender or food processor until creamy. Add remaining dressing ingredients. Blend until thick and creamy (about 1 minute in processor).
8. Wash and core apple, then slice into thin strips.
9. Combine dressing, vegetables, drained cucumber, and aburage (or apple). Mix well and serve.