Monday, October 1, 2012

Hiyayakko (Chilled Tofu with Soy and Ginger)

Hiyayakko (cold silken tofu with ginger & scallions)

Recipe by Caroline Phelps

This is a very popular and classic Japanese side dish that is very simple to make as there is no cooking involved. It's one I personally often crave because it's so light, healthy and clean in flavors. The key is finding good silken tofu; Do not make this recipe if you cannot find any. 
(serves 2-3 people)

  • 1 package (12 oz) silken tofu
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped
  • 1 small thumb size ginger, peeled and grated
  • bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
  • light soy sauce

Cooking Directions

Take tofu out of the package and drain.

Cut the tofu in 1/2 or 1/3 (depending on the serving size you wish to have). Plate the tofu and add some scallions, a little freshly grated ginger and sprinkle some bonito flakes. 

Pour a little soy (too much will over power the delicate flavor of the tofu) and serve.

Spicy Garlic Fried Rice

garlic fried rice with tobanjan, celery, onions, garlic and fish sauce

I love these Japanese fried rice mix packages! They are so good to have around the house for days when I don't feel like spending more than 20 minutes in the kitchen. If you've never tried them, I urge you to go to your closest Japanese grocer and try all the different flavors, they are delicious! One flavor I often use is garlic. It's mild but still gives the fried rice a good, almost smoky base. To that I add a few more ingredients, serve it and watch my husband deliriously happy devour his bowl of fried rice. This recipe is his favorite because it encompasses two flavors he adores: fish sauce and tobanjan paste. The result is spicy, salty and smoky garlic fried rice. Yum!

Can't find Japanese fried rice mix packages? Look at the end of this recipe for 3 basic, tasty fried rice recipes.


- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium size onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 tsp tobanjan
- 1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- garlic fried rice mix
- about 2 cup pre-cooked rice (you can use any type of rice for this)
- 2 tbps oil
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup, finely chopped mushrooms
- salt and pepper to taste


In a medium/large size pan, add oil garlic, onions and celery. Cook for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and slowly break it down with a wooden spatula, and stir for 2 minutes. Add fish sauce, tobanjan and fried rice mix, and stir well for another minute.

Lower the heat, push the fried to one side of the pan and break the 2 eggs on the other. Whisk the eggs with the spatula (like you would if you were making scrambled eggs) and once the eggs are almost cooked, slowly incorporate into the fried rice. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

If you don't have pre-packaged fried rice mix, you can try this simple vegetable fried rice, Japanese fried rice or garlic fried rice I also created. They're all very similar but with a slight change of ingredients.