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Vegan Tofu Caprese with Shiso Pesto X Sparkling Sake Pairing

 

We're pleased to share with you our very first collaboration with Erin Niimi Longhurst, author of Japonisme and Omoiyari. Erin wrote extensively about Japanese food and sake and so we're excited to share some of favourite recipes to have with our favourite sakes. Enjoy!

 

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The sake we’re highlighting this month is the sparkling ‘awa’ sake – Mutsu Hassen 8000 Brut Nature. Light, dry and refreshing, it’s a perfect accompaniment for a summery day.

 

Our friends at Hachinohe recommended a pairing of Caprese Salad, and we were excited about the combination of the tart sweetness from the tomatoes coupled with the rich, creamy texture of mozzarella. Caprese salad is such a satisfying meal for hot days, but we wanted to create a recipe that we’d be able to share with our vegan friends, too! Hence we’ve come up with a Vegan Japanese ‘Caprese’ style Salad, swapping the usual mozzarella out for some pressed tofu.

 

To give it a further Japanese-inspired twist, we topped the salad with a shiso-leaf pesto.

 

Ingredients:

 

Shiso Pesto

 

  • 50g Shiso Leaves (you can substitute basil)
  • 25g Spring onions
  • 25g Pine nuts
  • 30ml Lemon juice
  • 20ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 20ml Sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender until it becomes a smooth paste. 

 

Tofu ‘Caprese’

 

  • 4 Tomatoes, sliced into rounds
  • 396g pack Tofu, drained
  • Handful of shiso (or basil leaves), torn
  • Salad leaves

 

 

The most important part of this recipe, which truly just involves a lot of slicing, is the preparation of the tofu. An hour before serving, remove and drain the tofu from it’s packaging and wrap it in a paper towel, with something heavy pressed on top – something like a plate. This will essentially press the excess water out of the tofu so it is firm, and the texture more like mozzarella. The longer you do this, the better, just to get rid of additional moisture and so that the tofu holds its shape.

 

When combined with the sweet acidity of the tomato and the flavours in the pesto (nutty sesame oil, delicate EVOO, the slight heat from the spring onions), it’s a great accompaniment for the dryness within the Mutsu Hassen sparkling sake.

Sparkling

£59.90
⭐️ £49.90 (member price)

 

Erin Niimi Longhurst
🇬🇧🇯🇵
 

Based in London

Learn More About Erin

Erin Niimi Longhurst is a British/Japanese author in New York and London.

Her work has been featured in the BBC, Vogue, Stylist, El Mundo, Elle Vietnam and MarthaStewart.com. She is also a Director at a digital agency, working with purpose-led organisations in strategy development, helping them use social media to reach their goals.

She is the author of Japonisme (HarperCollins, 2018), Omoiyari (HarperCollins, 2020), and A Little Book of Japanese Contentments (Chronicle Books, 2018). Her work is influenced by her dual heritage, and focuses on her passion for food (she is also a trained private chef), Ikigai (finding purpose), Ikebana (flower arranging), and Shinrinyoku (forest bathing).

She is currently in East London, where she lives with her partner and their sausage dog Milhouse.

About The Author

Erin Niimi Longhurst 🇬🇧🇯🇵 

Based in London

Learn More About Erin

Erin Niimi Longhurst is a British/Japanese author in New York and London.

Her work has been featured in the BBC, Vogue, Stylist, El Mundo, Elle Vietnam and MarthaStewart.com. She is also a Director at a digital agency, working with purpose-led organisations in strategy development, helping them use social media to reach their goals.

She is the author of Japonisme (HarperCollins, 2018), Omoiyari (HarperCollins, 2020), and A Little Book of Japanese Contentments (Chronicle Books, 2018). Her work is influenced by her dual heritage, and focuses on her passion for food (she is also a trained private chef), Ikigai (finding purpose), Ikebana (flower arranging), and Shinrinyoku (forest bathing).

She is currently in East London, where she lives with her partner and their sausage dog Milhouse.

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