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Chilled Tofu with Ginger, Shallots/Scallions and Bonito Flakes topping.
Chilled Tofu (Hiyayakko) 4 Ways
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins

Chilled Tofu is a great appetiser with beer or any other drinks, particularly in summer time. It is one of the simplest dishes you will ever encounter and you can use various toppings.  

With the exception of the Mentaiko and Okra Topping, other toppings can be 100% vegetarian if you use vegetarian dashi stock such as konbu dashi.

Prep Time and Cook Time are based on the time required to make Mentaiko and Okra topping or Miso Eggplant topping as they take longer than the others.

Recipe Type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: chilled tofu, cold tofu, hiyayakko
Serves: 4
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 1 pack silken tofu (about 300g), quartered and chilled (note 1)
Ginger, Shallots and Bonito Flakes Topping
  • 4 tbsp shallots/scallions , finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp bonito flakes
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • Soy sauce
Aburaage and Perilla Topping
  • 1 sheet aburaage
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 perilla leaves finely julienned
  • Ponzu dressing (note 2)
Mentaiko and Okra Topping
  • 1 mentaiko (about 30g, note 3)
  • 5-6 okra (about 50g)
  • Sauce
  • 4 tsp dashi stock
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin
Miso Eggplant Topping
  • 40 g eggplant diced to 5mm cube
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp oil
  • 3 tbsp dashi stock
  • ½ tsp miso
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp chilli bean paste (note 4)
Chilled Tofu with Ginger Shallots and Bonito Flakes Topping
  1. Place chilled tofu piece in individual serving bowls/plates.
  2. Place quarter each of shallots, bonito flakes, then ginger on top of chilled tofu.
  3. Serve with soy sauce to be poured on when eating.

Chilled Tofu with Aburaage and Perilla Topping
  1. Pour boiling water over aburaage to remove excess oil, then squeeze water out. Cut the aburaage in half lengthwise, then cut into 5mm/3/16" wide strips crosswise.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the aburaage pieces and cook until each side of the aburaage gets slightly burnt. Remove from the pan and cool down.
  3. Place a quarter each of perilla and aburaage on the chilled tofu and serve with ponzu dressing.
Chilled Tofu with Mentaiko and Okra Topping
  1. Mix the Sauce ingredients together.
  2. Stab each okra on the side with a knife to make a tiny incision.
  3. Bring water in a saucepan to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and okra pieces.

  4. Boil for 1-2 minutes until okra pieces are softened. Do not boil too long.

  5. Drain and place the okra under cold running water to quickly cool them down.
  6. Remove the stem end of each okra and slice crosswise into 2mm (1/16") slices. They are a bit slimy.
  7. Break the thin skin of mentaiko and scrape the eggs off the skin.
  8. Put okra pieces and the mentaiko eggs in a bowl and mix well ensuring that the mentaiko mixes evenly with the okra.

  9. Place the mentaiko and okra mixture on top of chilled tofu.
  10. Serve with the sauce to pour over when eating.

Chilled Tofu with Miso Eggplant Topping
  1. Heat sesame oil and oil in a small frying pan or a saucepan over medium high heat. Add eggplant pieces and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the eggplants are wilted.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, mix well and bring it to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat off and cool it down.
  4. Place the Miso Eggplant on each of the chilled top pieces and serve.
Recipe Notes

1. Tofu does not have to be a silken tofu. If you prefer a harder texture with a bit more tofu flavour, use firm tofu instead.

2. Please see Ponzu dressing recipe in my post, Japanese Dressings.

Instead of making ponzu dressing, you could buy a bottle of ponzu at Japanese/Asian grocery stores if you prefer.

Instead of ponzu dressing, you can use normal soy sauce or light soy sauce.

3. Mentaiko is the whole roe sack of pollock roe that is cured with salt, then marinated in seasonings and chilli powder. Please see my post for more details and a photo.

4. Chilli bean paste is called doubanjiang or toban-djan (豆板醤). You can buy a bottle of doubanjian at Asian grocery stores.

5. Nutrition information is for one serving when served 4 servings as appetiser, with Miso Eggplant Topping.

serving: 99g  calories:68kcal  fat: 4.6g (7%)  saturated fat: 0.6g (3%)  polyunsaturated fat: 2.2g  monounsaturated fat: 1.5g  cholesterol: 0.1mg (0%)  sodium: 52mg (2%) potassium: 132mg (4%)  carbohydrates: 2g (1%)  dietary fibre: 0.5g (23%)  sugar: 1.2g  protein: 5.8g  vitamin a: 0.2%  vitamin c: 0.6%  calcium: 6.5%  iron: 4.9%