Hiyayakko (cold tofu) is a traditional and typical summer food in Japan. Tofu does not have much flavour or taste so usually, it is topped with bonito flakes, grated ginger, shallots and soy sauce. These toppings give the tofu a classic Japanese flavour that is so delicious! It’s a very refreshing and easy to prepare dish that is also simple and healthy!
Table of contents
What is Hiyayakko (Japanese cold tofu)?
Hiyayakko is a Japanese fresh tofu dish suitable for summer, which is made by cutting well-chilled tofu into cubes, garnished with “Yakumi” toppings such as chopped scallions, ginger, seaweed, and dried bonito flakes, and sprinkling with a sauce such as soy sauce. Tofu itself does not have much flavour so the dish is enhanced by ginger, myoga, shiso etc. This is a popular dish in summer as it is served chilled and with refreshing flavour.
Why you will love this recipe?
Easy and simple to prepare – only cutting required, no cooking. Simple dish but full of flavour. Very refreshing and healthy – Popular dish in summer for a cold and refreshing flavour. Tofu is made from soybean, so this dish can be prepared completely vegan, and vegetarian friendly.
What Do I Need For Hiyayakko?
- Garnishing ingredients – ginger, myoga, scallions, shiso, bean sprouts, Okura, Umeboshi, bonito flakes, shredded nori seaweed etc.
- Soy sauce, ponzu.
Types of Tofu
There are two types of Tofu: firm and silken tofu. The firm tofu is called Momen tofu and the silken tofu is called Kinugoshi tofu. Both Momen and kinu are types of fabric. Even many Japanese people believe that firm momen tofu is drained through momen (cotton) fabric and Kinugoshi is drained through Kinu (silk).
Firm Tofu (Momen Tofu): The name of Momen (firm) tofu comes from the way the soybean mixture is drained through Momen cotton. It has a dense bouncy texture. Therefore, momen firm tofu is used for Marpo tofu, Agedashi tofu, and stir-fried dishes like this scrambled tofu.
Silken tofu (Kinugoshi Tofu): is not drained through silk. It just has the texture of silk. Also because of the way each different textured tofu are made, silken tofu is smooth and soft because it contains more water than firm tofu. Therefore Silken tofu is eaten as it is to enjoy its texture such as Hiyayakko, shiraae, and sweets like shiratama Dango.
How to Make Hiyayakko?
- Chilled Tofu
- Wash tofu and wrap with a kitchen paper towel to remove excess water.
- Cut topping ingredients
- Cut tofu into the desired shape, like cubes or large square.
- Garnish with chosen toppings and pour soy sauce.
Tips & Tricks
- Take out the chilled tofu before starting chopping up toppings. This is because the umami of tofu itself will be lost if it is too cold.
- Remove excess water by wrapping tofu with kitchen paper towel. The paper towel absorbs excess water eliminating the wateriness.
- Use koikuchi soy sauce or Tamari. Because tofu contains a lot of moisture, even though we take some moisture out (above), soy sauce will be diluted somehow. Therefore it is better to use a bold flavoured soy sauce.
A: Yes, you can though storing definitely depends on the tofu type. Silken can be stored in an airtight container filled with water and will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Firm Tofu can be stored in the fridge and freezer. Same way to keep firm tofu as silken tofu and also the firm tofu can be stored in the freezer. Remove excess moisture with kitchen paper towel, then keep it in a ziplock freezer bag. Thaw out at room temperature wrapped in kitchen towel paper for this will absorb moisture. Cut it into small pieces and you can use it for miso soup ingredients, or into sukiyaki etc. It will keep about a month in the freezer.
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- 300 g Silken or Firm Tofu *1
- 1 tbs soy sauce *2
- 0.5 tbs rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame seed oil
- 1/4 tsp tobanjan
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 2 shiso leaves
- 2 myoga (Japanese ginger)
- 2 tbsp finely chopped scallions
- 2 tbsp bonito flakes
- Chill the tofu and take it out of the fridge just before starting cooking.
- Wash and wrap the tofu with a kitchen paper towel.
- Slice shiso leaves, and myoga. Chop the scallions finely and set aside.
- Cut the tofu in half and place each on a separate serving plate.
- Garnish with prepared toppings.
- Mix soy sauce and mirin and pour over the chilled tofu and toppings.