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Authentic Japanese Chili Tofu

Authentic Japanese Chili Tofu


  • 12 ounces tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 leek, cut into very thin slices
  • 6 dried red chilies
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Preheat the grill on its highest setting, or heat a griddle pan if you want to get griddle marks. Pat the tofu with kitchen paper to get rid of any water, then grill it and the leek on both sides for three minutes each, until brown. At the same time, grill the dried chillies for three minutes. This should be just enough to bring their flavours out, but don't blacken or scorch them. You can griddle all the components instead, if you prefer.
  2. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Mix the miso with the sake and place into a small saucepan. Add the chillies and cook for a few minutes until flavoured. Add the soy sauce, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water and bring to a simmer. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the balsamic vinegar.
  3. Add the tofu and leek to the sauce and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed.


  • Recipe provided by Makiko Sano, author of Healthy Japanese Cooking: Simple Recipes for a Long Life, the Shoku-Iku Way.


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