Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tofu with Hot Spring Egg (Onsen Tamago)

I have been head-over-heels with Japanese cooking recently. Japanese food is my all-time favorite cuisine but I never really ventured anything beyond making sushi, maki and teriyaki haha. However, a few months back, I came across Harumi Kurihara's cookbooks and it completely blew my mind away. Her recipes are a mix of traditional and contemporary Japanese food and not only did they not require a lot of different ingredients (more like a play on a few ingredients in different ways), the steps to create the dish is not too complicated.

Hence, I've been experimenting with her cookbook (bless my library that has her book) and am totally sold on the recipes! I've tried her gyudon (beef rice bowl), grilled mackerel with special sauce, hijiki salad, just to name a few. They are simply delicious! I am so going to get one of her cookbooks soon for my keeping! :)

I just love how Japanese food is so delicate, and can be made into really beautiful looking dishes. The above dish is one fine example of it, and the latest recipe I tried from her book. I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did! :)

Tofu with Hot Spring Egg (from Harumi's Japanese Cooking)

2 (12.3-oz) boxes soft silken tofu
4 hot spring eggs
1 teaspoon of dried fish flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
1 tablespoon sake
chopped green onions or chives to taste
grated fresh ginger to taste

To make hot spring egg (onsen tamago)
Put the eggs into a wideneck flask (or any other container that will hold heat) - make sure the eggs are at room temperature, not chilled.
Add boiling water to cover them and leave for 10 minutes. They yolk should still be runny with the white just cooked.

Drain tofu and wrap in paper towels to remove excess water.

Make the dressing by combining the dried fish flakes, soy sauce, mirin and sake in a microwave-safe bowl and cooking it in the microwave on medium for 2 minutes. Leave to cool and then strain. If you cannot obtain the fish flakes then use a little concentrated fish stock to give a slight fish flavor to the dressing.

*Note: I didn't have fish flakes on hand so I used a few (about 5) granules of dashi as a substitute. Also, I microwaves the sauce a wee bit longer cos I prefer a slightly thicker consistency.

Cut the tofu into 4 pieces and place one piece in each bowl. Scoop out a hollow in each one like this (I used a large block of tofu instead of cutting it up)

I love how cute it looks with that hole heh.
 Put a hot spring egg into each hollow:

Think I dug the hole a little too deep haha
Arrange the scooped tofu around the edge. Scatter some green onions on top and dab on a little grated ginger.

Pour the dressing over the tofu and serve.

And there you have it! Yummy yummy yum!

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  1. this looks so delicate. is this served with rice or eaten as is? also, what is a hot spring egg?

  2. Hi! I served it with rice, but you can also eat it as it is since the block of tofu balances out the saltiness of the sauce. Hot spring egg is similar to soft-boiled egg. =) They call it hot spring egg because they are originally cooked in hot springs in Japan!