Tofu salad usually comes either with a refreshing shoyu-based or a creamy sesame-based dressing. I tend to prefer sesame, but this recipe popped out at me when I was perusing my mom’s collection of Japanese cooking magazines. The colors were beautiful and the combination of textures—the soft tofu, juicy tomatoes, shaki shaki lettuce, and the crunch of the fried wonton skins—was what did it for me.
The original recipe called for good-quality silken (kinugoshi) tofu, lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, charsiu, green onions, and wonton skins. We used what we had on hand and ended up with a meatless version with asparagus. I used leftover gyoza (instead of wonton) skins I had in the freezer, and that seemed to work fine. I sliced about 10 skins thinly, fried in a lot of oil until golden (stirring constantly so they didn’t stick to each other), then let it sit on paper towels until the ingredients of the salad were being prepared.
The dressing was tart—perfect for a light summer meal. I know we’ll be having more Kari Pari Tofu Salad as the days begin to heat up in Southern California. Oh, the dreadful heat to come that’s to come. . .
Kari Pari Tofu Salad Dressing
Adapted from クロワッサン (December 10, 2004 issue)
Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup low sodium shoyu
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. ponzu
1 heaping tsp. sugar
Mix ingredients and pour over tofu salad.