Warm tofu with soy sauce, ginger, and scallion is a lovely dish to serve as spring turns to summer. Comforting yet still light, squares of tofu are seasoned with warming ginger and the umami punch of soy.
While silken tofu is served chilled, momen (medium-firm) tofu is often gently warmed, which brings out its sweet flavor. Warm tofu is popular comfort food during Japan’s cold winters.–Rika Yukimasa
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WHAT IS MOMEN TOFU?
Momen (or medium) tofu, is firmer than silken tofu and richer in taste. It’s denser—it’s been pressed to extract more of the water moisture you’d find in softer tofu. This means that it’s a little coarser in texture, but also richer in nutrients, than silken tofu. Because of its firm texture, momen tofu makes a better choice for any dish that is stirred or warmed. It’s also the best choice for any deep-fried tofu dish.
Warm Tofu with Soy Sauce, Ginger, and Scallion
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- One (12-ounce) block momen (medium-firm) tofu cut into 8 cubes
- 1 tablespoon regular or low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1 scallion minced
- Grated ginger to taste
- To a saucepan, add 2 cups of water and the salt. Put the tofu cubes in the liquid and place over medium heat. When the water starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 7 minutes.
- Divvy the tofu between plates, drizzle the sauce over the tofu, scatter the scallion and ginger on top, and serve.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This is a perfect small meal and definitely a comfort food which I didn't have a name for. I've often made a cold version of this, based roughly on agedashi, but not warmed as this, gently in a saline bath. I included a piece of kombu, which does add umami (and a taste of the sea) to the tofu. I used half a block of medium-firm tofu (for two people, about half a package) and the full amount of saltwater + kombu, which covered the blocks for the simmering time. A half recipe of the soy & mirin sauce is easy to prep in a few minutes while the tofu is cooking.
This is such a delicate and simple preparation of warm tofu with soy sauce, ginger, and scallion, where really good tofu definitely shines. In all honesty, I could make this with firm or extra firm and be almost as happy. My own version, based only on my imagination and a love for ginger, often is served on a bed of paper-thin cucumber and carrots or radishes, sometimes adding microplaned carrot to the ginger for flavor and color, but this recipe is pretty darn perfect!
This dish was surprisingly tasty! I had thought that it might be too sweet because of the amount of sugar but it wasn't. None of the ingredients took over the dish, they blended well together. I can see how this is a popular dish to have in Japan in the winter. I feel sorry for people that don't like tofu because of its texture (like my boyfriend) because they're missing out on some serious flavor with this warm tofu with soy sauce, ginger, and scallion! More for me.
Originally published May 27, 2021