Today I am going to show you how to make “Hiya-Yakko.”
“Hiya-Yakko” is cold tofu appetizer, perfect for a hot summer day. It’s easy to make, delicious and healthy.
Since Tofu has no distinct taste, there are so many ways to enjoy.
Here are my favorite five ways.
Before dive into the recipe, let’s talk about the types of Tofu quickly.
There are three types of Tofu, we eat regularly.
Has firmer and rough texture. Suitable for cooking like stir-fry and simmer. Of course you can it as it is like I do in this video.
Has silky texture. Good to eat as it is. Or you can eat warm or hot as well. It’s called “Yu- Dofu,” meaning “hot Tofu.”
The newest kind of Tofu. Fill thick soy milk in a package with bittern and cook until gelled. Smooth tofu has melting texture, designed to eat as it is.
It’s totally up to you which Tofu to choose.
Our all-time favorite, scallion and ginger.
I can’t recall how many times I eat the combination in my life. I would suggest to have Hiya-Yakko, start from this super popular combination. I choose silken Tofu for this Japanese staple dish. You can always select firm or smooth as well.
Sprinkle chopped scallion over Tofu, place a teaspoon-full of grated ginger and bonito flakes. Top with thinly sliced Shiso leaves if you have it on your hand. Drizzle regular soy sauce as much as you want, and it’s done!
We store chopped scallion and Shiso leaves in a small container all the time. So you can enjoy Hiya-Yakko whenever you want!
Here’s an Italian twist to smooth Tofu.
・1 silken Tofu (150g ≒50z.)
・1 stalk scallion
・1 tsp grated ginger
・1 tbs bonito flakes
Smooth Tofu has a similar texture to fresh Italian cheese ricotta. Tastes like mozzarella, in my opinion
Chop a medium size ripe tomato into small dice, mix in a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Add in a tablespoon of olive oil and chopped shiso leaves. Shiso leaves are often called Japanese basil.
That is why I called this dish as vegetarian Caprese.
Spoon the fresh tomato sauce over a smooth Tofu.
There you have it!
It tastes so refreshing. So summer!
●Okura & Natto
Here comes a “Neba-Neba,” sticky, plus sticky combination. This is my first time introducing Natto, the famous Japanese stinky fermented soybeans.
I was worried about how you guys feel about the Natto. Some people hate, some people love it, even among the Japanese, there are anti-Natto peoples. （not a few.)
Me? I eat every once in a while. I love it!
・1 Firm Tofu (150g ≒50z.)
・2 Okura ※Rub with salt and blanch. Chop into small dice.
・1 package Natto
・salt for rub okura
Mix chopped Okura and Natto (with sauce in a pakage. If you don’t have sauce, add Mentsuyu or soy sauce) until very sticky.
This dish is extra sticky and healthier than ever.
Natto improves your blood circulation, and probiotics create a good gut flora. Vitamin K contributes to stronger bones.
Okura has antioxidants, dietary fiber, and lowers blood sugar.
How can it be more healthy!
Place the mixture on top, sprinkle nori for the final touch.
There you have the healthiest Hiya-Yakko!
●Chili oil & Garlick chives
Here comes a spicy, but not too spicy version of Hiya-Yakko.
Chili oil with chopped ingredients has become popular several years ago.
Actually, it’s easy to make and keeps well in the fridge. You can make ahead of time and spoon it over anytime you crave for.
Here is the ingredients for Chili oil.
・1 clove garlic
・1 tsp Chili powder
・1 tsp Paprika powder
・1/2 tsp salt
・1/2 tsp sugar
・1/2 chicken bouillon powder
・1 tbs dried shrimp ※optional
・1 tbs toasted peanuts ※optional
・1/3 cup vegetable oil (flavorless oil like Canola)
・1 tbs sesame oil
Slice a clove of garlic using mandoline.
Put in a frying pan along with a third cup of vegetable oil.
Turn the heat to low, cook until the garlic turns light brown.
Meanwhile, put chili pepper, paprika, salt, sugar and chicken bouillon powder in a small bowl.
Add in the hot oil and mix well. Leave it until it comes to room temperature.
Add in sesame oil, dried shrimp, chopped peanuts. And the Chili oil is done!
This type of chili oil which contains chopped ingredients is called “Taberu Ra-yu,” meaning “Eating Chili Oil.”
It became quite popular in Japan several years ago, and it’s in my fridge regularly, especially in summer.
To serve, break your Firm tofu with your fingers into bite-size, and pile them up in a small bowl.
Sprinkle chopped garlic chive.
Spoon your chili oil and good to go.
If you like spicy food, replace paprika with chili powder.
We are not that spicy people, but we want some heat every now and then. Lol.
●Shio Kombu & Sesame oil
Lastly, I am going to show you the easiest one.
Sprinkle Shio Kombu on silken tofu, and drizzle sesame oil. That’s it!
Couldn’t be easier!
You can find Shio Kombu at Asian grocery store or on my store on Amazon.
This is the food when my family come home starving. You can prepare it literally in a minute!
Which one would you like to try?!
Give it a try and let me know how you like it!