I am too old for heroes, but young enough to be inspired. One such source of inspiration is David Chang. I you have not heard about David Chang, then, I think you have some catching up to do. If you have met the man, thank him for me, as I do not think I’d have the chance to do so personally, anytime soon.
This is one of his dishes that I have prepared quite a few times over the past few months. I have taken the liberty to add some stuff and leave some out, but if he is half the man I think he might be, he would not mind. As I have never tasted the original, I have nothing to compare this to, so maybe you can make this and let me know what you think. I would appreciate it. And if you have tasted the original, tell me how this version compares.
I have fried the tofu for color and changed some elements of his dressing. I cut down on the oil to vinegar ratio – one to one – instead of two to one. I sometimes add a little vegetarian oyster sauce (made from mushrooms) for an extra flavour dimension, and have incorporated mirin on a more or less permanent basis. Cause I like mirin – a lot. And I use either chopped chives or torn purple basil as another fresh component. You’re suppose to use cherry tomatoes with different colors but that is not always possible here, so some of my salads look more funky than others, but they all taste the way I’d like them to. The only bummer is have to peel all those small tomatoes. But there you go … most good things demand some effort. Enjoy.
500 grams Cherry Tomatoes, Various colors
350 grams Silken tofu, Slabs or blocks
¼ cup Sherry Vinegar
¼ cup Grape seed oil
1 tablespoon Mirin
1 tablespoon Light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Purple basil (or Chives), Finely shredded
1 teaspoon Sesame oil
1. Score each of the tomatoes with a sharp knife by cutting a cross through the skin on the bottom sharp end. Bring a large saucepan with salted water to the boil. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 10 to 20 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and drop them immediately into an ice bath. Remove the skins and put in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Fry the tofu slabs for a few minutes on each side until a nice light brown color developed. Make sure the oil is hot enough to prevent the tofu from sticking to the pan. Take care not to break the tofu when turning.
3. Mix the grape seed oil, soya sauce, mirin, sherry vinegar and sesame oil in a bowl. Add the tomatoes and coat well.
4. Place a slab of tofu in a shallow serving bowl and add tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with some shredded purple basil (or chives).