Does anyone need a break? I know we just had a break but I swear this first week and a half of 2021 has felt like a whole dang year. I don’t think I need to tell you what events I’m referring to and I don’t think it would serve any larger purpose to mention them. So instead I’m going to talk about how my outrage and fear gave way to extreme tiredness, which led to this breezy no-cook meal that is not terrible for you. Sometimes eating your feelings can involve vegetables and these Tofu Salad Bowls are proof of that.
This dish is largely inspired by the silken tofu salads I, at one time, would order whenever I went to a Sichuan restaurant. Liangban tofu is comprised of cubed or sliced silken tofu covered in a spicy soy and black vinegar concoction and garnished with fresh herbs and chili. It is a lip-smacking delight and easily replicable at home.
I opted to take my silken tofu dish in more of a Japanese direction. I’ve found myself missing the ubiquitous green salad that accompanies every sushi order. Sometimes I miss seriously inconsequential things. I’ve clearly been in some form of lockdown for too long. But instead of the carrot ginger dressing that typically accompanies the green salads, I stayed the Liangban-tofu-course and went with a soy-sauce-based dressing. I did, however, enlist most of the vegetables you would find in a sushi bar salad. Iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and, my personal favorite, sweet corn.
What I love about these Tofu Salad Bowls is it requires little more than chopping. I even popped the corn in the microwave. If you’re less lazy than me, feel free to heat your corn in a proper pot, as the recipe details below. However you choose to convert your corn from frozen to hot, the process is the same from there on out. Plop some butter, miso, and honey on that corn and stir until the butter and miso melts into the corn. This corn all by itself is a treat, by the way. A true winner of a side. I can’t wait to introduce it to mashed potatoes.
Now, let’s talk tofu. If you’ve been here before, you know I’m an extra firm tofu kind of girl…I will leave the dirty jokes to y’all. Every tofu recipe on this blog uses extra firm tofu. I am not exaggerating, it’s apparently a culinary crutch of mine. But today’s Tofu Salad Bowls use medium tofu. If your monocle just plopped into your champagne flute, I am not the least surprised. It is shocking behavior on my part. I’m feeling quite proud of my boldness. Please know I am being sarcastic. There is nothing revolutionary or subversive about purchasing or eating medium tofu.
I selected medium tofu for this dish because I couldn’t find silken tofu for whatever reason. And when it comes to Liangban Tofu extra firm tofu is not going to work. The appeal of Liangban Tofu is the almost custardy texture of the tofu intermingling with the verdant herbs and the sharp, spicy sauce. This textural experience is central to my Liangban Tofu craving. So, yes, I had to cast my favorite aside in this instance. But fear not, it will be back by my side shortly, if not later this week.
After microwaving the corn, slicing the admittedly delicate medium tofu, and whisking mirin into soy sauce, all the “hard” work is done. All that stands between you and dinner is a light bit of chopping. And some of that chopping is as simple as cutting a tomato into wedges. This really is a no-brainer recipe. No fancy moves, and no extended chilling or marinating times. Just healthy, refreshing no-cook goodness. So in the spirit of the fuss-free nature of this dish, I’m going to leave this post here. Yes, this recipe is so simple it requires no further explanation. In fact, I’m not entirely sure it needed the explanation it got.
So that’s everything you need to know about these Tofu Salad Bowls with Miso Butter Sweet Corn. It’s refreshing, simple, to make, and loaded with flavor. I hope you enjoy this delicious culinary breather and I hope you all are staying safe and healthy.
Tofu Salad Bowls with Miso Butter Sweet Corn
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp gochugaru
- ½ lime juiced
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp white miso
- 1 brick medium or silken tofu cut into squares
- 1 head iceberg lettuce cut into wedges
- 2 small tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1 avocado peeled, pitted, and cut into wedges
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 1 sheet nori cut into thin ribbons with scissors, optional
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds for sprinkling
- Pour the soy sauce and mirin into a small bowl. Add the sugar, sesame oil, gochugaru, and lime juice and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Place the corn in a small saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the corn. Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes or until the corn is tender.
- Drain the corn and place it in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter, miso, and honey and stir until the butter and miso melt and become well-integrated. Set aside
- Divide the tofu pieces across four bowls. Add two iceberg wedges to each bowl followed by 4 tomato wedges, 2 avocado wedges, and two heaping spoonfuls of the corn. Drizzle the dressing over everything in the bowl and garnish with scallions, nori, and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.