Goma Dofu - Sesame Tofu

>> Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm still living in 2010 at the moment in my head.

Because I haven't the chance to think about New Year's resolutions yet.

And I haven't passed on my greetings and best wishes to you.

So I'm doing it now. Passing on my greetings I mean. Resolutions don't necessarily have to start in January in my book.

So I hope your holiday season was very nice.

And that you got to be with the ones you love to plant kisses on and share food with...

And that you thought about the meaning of Christmas....

And if you were going through a rough time, I hope you found hope and consolation in the midst of it all.

Thank you for your readership and encouraging comments over the past year. You've made this journey so much more fun than a while ago when I used to begin my posts with 'Dear void'. Thanks for turning that void into friends. Or virtual friends.

So I was home for the holidays and was joyfully stuffed with Chinese food - crispy duck, shallot pancakes, stir fried noodles, dumplings, and everything else drool-worthy. Not your typical Christmas-type food. We also dined out almost everyday and that's the way it has been all my life - Christmas is celebrated with Chinese food usually not prepared at home. It's a tradition!

This post is rather special to me because because this goma dofu (sesame 'tofu' - not really tofu) has been planned for a long time now. Why so long, you ask? Ever since I saw this post on JustHungry, I knew straight away that I needed to make this - sesame tofu is one of my favourites to order in Japanese restaurants, but they're usually in fried form like agedashi tofu. I love the intense sesame flavour (from tahini) and the smooth tofu-like texture of this dish!

However, the problem I had was sourcing pure kuzu powder. The ones at the Japanese stores are usually sweet potato starch and arrowroot, which would not work according to the recipe. So for the past few months, I've scoured every Asian or Japanese grocery store I came across with no luck. 

Until last month Mother went to Japan and bought some for me. 

Probably the best Christmas present ever.

I hope you can find kuzu powder easier than I have and give this a go. Oh, and do you know that kuzu has a lot of health benefits and is also used as a hangover remedy in China as it detoxifies the liver? You learn something new everyday, huh?

This dish is eaten cold, with a dash of soy sauce (as the tofu itself is bland) and wasabi (which I didn't have).


(p.s. I used the rest of the kuzu powder to make kuzumochi - sticky mochi cake. One of the yummiest Japanese summertime dessert!)
Goma Dofu (Sesame Tofu)
Serves 4
  • 70g (2.5 oz) tahini or nerigoma that has been stirred very well
  • 50 g (1.75 oz) kuzu powder
  • 500ml (2 cups plus a tablespoon) water, filtered water preferred
  • Equipment needed: bowl, pan, square container to mold the goma dofu
1. Combine the kuzu powder with a little water to make a paste. Add the rest of the water and mix well.

2. Put into a pan over medium heat, and add the tahini or nerigoma. Mix continuously, smooshing any lumps of sesame paste and incorporating it as well as possible into the liquid. When it heats up it will start to thicken and get a bit lumpy - keep stirring to smooth out the lumps. After a while, it will turn from milky to a bit more translucent in color and have the consistency of a thick pudding.
3. Wet the inside of the square container you’ll use as the mold. Pour in the hot pudding-like mixture and smooth out the top. Bang the container a few times onto a countertop or table to get rid of bubbles. Let cool to room temperature, and then put into the refrigerator to cool, about 2 hours.

4. Unmold and cut into squares. Serve chilled, with wasabi or grated fresh ginger and soy sauce. (The goma dofu on its own is quite bland, so it does need the sauce.) It’s really nice as a cold appetizer on a warm day. It can be stored, well covered, in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Happy New Year.

It's 2011. I'm here and I'm present. And hope you are too!


j3ss kitch3n January 4, 2011 at 9:56 PM  

wow this is sometime i had never tired before! look at this makes me drool! double yummy!!!

grub January 4, 2011 at 9:59 PM  

yay! new post :) now i can wish you a happy new year (a bit late though!)

haha i've actually never seen this in Japanese restaurants before, but i'm not so big on sesame, but i like agedashi tofu :D tofu with curry is nice too XD

Julie January 4, 2011 at 10:25 PM  

okay now you are teasing us.. now i gotta find kuzu powder thanks a lot!!!

OohLookBel January 4, 2011 at 10:29 PM  

Yum, that tofu looks delicious. I've never tasted it before so now I'll look out for it at Japanese restaurants. And by the way, there's nothing that says you must have resolutions (less chance of breaking them if you don't have them in the first place!)

Helen (Grab Your Fork) January 5, 2011 at 12:19 AM  

Goma tofu is one of the things I love to have in Japan as you simply cannot get anything like it in Sydney. We often get it at a ryokan in Takayama and the texture is incredible. Now I just have to hunt down kuzu powder!

sugarpuffi January 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM  

omg it looks so yummy! i thought making tofu would be really difficult! Happy New Year to you <33

Jen January 5, 2011 at 11:52 PM  

Happy new year, Viv! Ooo, I don't think I've tried this dish before but now I must also join in the hunt for kuzu powder. I hope Tokyo Mart has it!

Jeannie January 6, 2011 at 3:05 AM  

Happy new year to you Vivienne...love the look of that tofu! so neat!

mr. pineapple man January 6, 2011 at 3:46 AM  

love the presentation!! happy new year Vivienne!

Maria January 6, 2011 at 6:10 AM  

Happy New Year Vivienne! I love sesame, this sounds perfect!

SnoWhite January 7, 2011 at 2:22 AM  

Wow - I never knew one could make such a thing! Thanks for expanding my cooking horizon today.

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef January 7, 2011 at 6:57 AM  

This looks delightful. Definitely didn't know that this type of tofu could be made. :)

Zoe January 7, 2011 at 9:18 AM  

Homemade tofu is a cool idea. Not bad that Kuzu powder is not easily available.

Jessica January 10, 2011 at 10:39 PM  

Happy New Year!! You're inspiring me to make my own tofu!!

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