Last Updated on February 14, 2021
This dish is another variation of chilled tofu, hiyayakko, a typical Japanese dish. Chilled Tofu with Umeboshi Paste is silken tofu with tangy & salty umeboshi paste on top. It’s vegan, no added oil, super easy and quick to make with only 5 ingredients.
Chilled Tofu (Hiyayakko)
As mentioned in the beginning, chilled tofu (hiyayakko) is a typical Japanese side dish. You can make it with with either silken tofu or firm tofu. It’s a simple dish to prepare. The traditional way is to serve with bonito flakes but since this is a vegan recipe it will be made without. Otherwise, it’s the same simple principals you can follow to prepare any hiyayakko:
- Soy Sauce
There are some variations and arrangements you can do with toppings and sauce, like this recipe.
What is Umeboshi?
Umeboshi [梅干し] is pickled (brined) Japanese ume plum. It’s sour and salty although the level of sourness and saltiness varies. Umeboshi is one of the popular pickles to eat rice with. It’s super salty that a little bit goes a long way. The most common way to eat umeboshi is with rice. Because of the sourness and saltiness, it’s also ideal for using as “salad dressing” to replace any typical salad dressing. It’s a lot healthier too because umeboshi is oil-free!!
Typically, umeboshi is packed and sold as a whole with a seed in it. To make a paste, grab a couple and simply remove the seed then place them on a cutting board and chop them with a knife.
Luckily, here in the U.S., we can find this umeboshi paste from Eden Foods and that’s what we use!
You could also find umeboshi (paste or whole) at your local Asian grocery stores. I’m pretty sure that you can find it at Japanese grocery stores, and some Korean and Chinese markets carry it as well. Whether to buy paste one or whole, be sure to check the ingredients list as some products are made with honey which is obviously not vegan-friendly.
For this recipe, you will need only 5 ingredients:
- Silken Tofu
- Umeboshi Paste
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
Cut a block of silken carefully not to break a part. Then place the rest (toppings) over the tofu. Done!
The chilled tofu, in general, tastes very clean and light but salty, pleasantly sour and slightly fruity punch from umeboshi taste gives an interesting savory bite that you may have never tasted before. With the ginger and scallions, it adds a dimension of pleasant spiciness and onion-y flavor. Umeboshi is already salty as it is so that you shouldn’t need any other salty condiment like soy sauce or ponzu which is a typical condiment for chilled tofu.
Check out other delicious chilled tofu or umeboshi dishes!
Chilled Tofu with Umeboshi Paste
- 1/2 block (8 oz) silken tofu 8 oz silken tofu, cut in half
- 1 tsp umeboshi paste [a paste of Japanese pickled plum] (adjust to taste)
- 1- inch ginger knob grated
- 1 scallion finely chopped
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- Place the tofu block (1/4 block per serving) in a small shallow bowl or plate. Top it with umeboshi paste, ginger, scallion, and toasted sesame seeds.
- You can save the remaining tofu (the other half of tofu block) in water. Place the tofu in container, cover with purified water, then keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make sure to change water every day or it will spoil quickly!
- Umeboshi paste is very salty and sour. Be careful with adding too much.