Last Updated on February 14, 2021
Another tofu dish done, a really easy & minimally processed way! This Seasoned Tofu & Cucumber is a cold (or room temperature) dish that can be served either by itself as an appetizer/side dish, or salad. Or if you are like me, you may enjoy it on warm rice. It’s vegan, oil-free, no heat & cooking required, a perfect dish for a hot summer to keep you feeling light but satisfied!
If I have to name something that I always have in my fridge is definitely TOFU. It doesn’t matter whether it’s silken, firm, extra firm, super firm etc., I just love tofu. I can make it as warm dish or cold dish, it always gives a satisfying feeling.
I typically keep some cooked tofu cubes in the fridge after pan-fry or bake them in the oven. This way, whenever you need to add some protein, it’s ready to use in no time! Not to mention, I make tofu scrambles which I can literally eat everyday without getting sick of it.
Did you know you can also freeze it as well? When you freeze it, it becomes chewier which is a perfect way to make your real-food-meat-alternatives such as sausage crumbles.
Seasoned Tofu & Cucumber
As a Japanese person, I often prepare tofu as a cold dish (with no heat applied) which I think it still hasn’t gained a mainstream popularity compared to cooked tofu. If you never tried eating it cold, this dish might be a gateway to a new adventure!
The list of the ingredients is pretty simple:
- Extra Firm Tofu
- English Cucumber
- Soy Sauce (more for serving)
- Rice Vinegar
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
Now, to prepare the dish, first you need to extract the water from a tofu block. I use extra firm tofu which is relatively low in water content but not too dry compare to “super firm” tofu type because I still like a bit of moisture for this particular dish.
To press the tofu block, I simply place it on a plate and put some weight on to it. I use either a heavy glass bowl or a plate which does the job just fine. After 15-20 minutes or so, you can see the plate collecting a lot of water.
After extracting the water, place it in a prep bowl and crush with your hand.
For the cucumber, I like using English cucumber so I don’t need to remove the seeds (core) or peel the tough skin. Well, Actually I partially peel the skin just for the presentation purpose which looks a bit prettier (is it just me?) but there’s absolutely no need to do that. What did I do with the peeled skin? Don’t worry, I snacked on them as I cook instead of throwing it away.
After slicing the cucumber, place in a bowl and massage with some salt and let it stand for 5-10 minutes to extract water content from the cucumber as well. This is also to pre-season the cucumber. After the 5-10 minutes, gently squeeze the cucumber. Then combine it with the tofu for the final step which is to season with more salt, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds. Just mix until well combined.
Finally, serve with fresh ginger and scallion which gives a nice spicy & onion-y accents to the dish. Add a drizzle of soy sauce for an extra savory taste. It’s delicious to eat by itself, but I’d highly recommend to serve it over a steamed short grain rice of your choice! The cold well seasoned tofu over a warm rice served with extra drizzle of soy sauce poured over is heavenly!
Here is a couple of tofu dishes you may be interested to try!
Pan-Fried Tofu with Sweet & Savory Sauce
Japanese Sweet & Savory Tofu Scramble (Iri-Dofu)
Seasoned Tofu & Cucumber (Cold)
- 1/2 block 14 oz extra firm tofu (a half of 14 oz package)
- 1 cup about 4-inch log English cucumber halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp soy sauce (more for serving)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 - 1 1/2 inches ginger knob julienned (topping)
- 2 tbsp 1 stalk thinly sliced scallion green part (topping)
- 2 servings warm (cooked) short grain rice of your choice
- Place the tofu on a plate and put some weight on top. Let it stand for 15-20 minutes to extract water.
- Meanwhile, prepare cucumber. In a small prep bowl, combine cucumber and 1/2 tsp of salt. Massage gently. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes to extract water.
- After step 1 & 2 are complete, place the tofu over a medium prep bowl and crush (or tear if you like larger chunks) it with hands. Season with another 1/2 tsp of salt and mix well. Next, squeeze the cucumber gently to remove excess water then add to the tofu. Mix well. Season with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame seeds. Mix again.
- Serve with ginger and green part of scallion on top. Add a dash of soy sauce for serving (optional.) Or serve over a bowl of rice and pour a drizzle of soy sauce.
- It can be served by itself as an appetizer or a side dish, however, I highly recommend to serve it over a bowl of warm short grain rice (starchy kind.)
- If you like more heat from ginger, try leaving the skin on!