Tofu & Sesame Paste


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Japanese Food Made Easy

Japanese Food Made Easy

By Aya Nishimura

Published 2020

  • About
Preparation: 20 Minutes, Plus 30 Minutes Draining
Cooking: 5 Minutes

This dish reminds me of good-quality hummus. Actually, this tofu paste is amazing as a dipping sauce for vegetable sticks, when you add a little more seasoning (for a delicious tofu dip).



  • 340 g (11¾ oz) firm tofu
  • 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed, sliced
  • ½ carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 100 g ( oz) English spinach, thick stalks removed and cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) pieces


  • 2 pinches of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons miso
  • 15 g (½ oz) white sesame seeds


Wrap the tofu in paper towel and place it on a plate. Place a similar-sized plate on top and add a 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) weight. Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes for the liquid to drain.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Place a frying pan over medium heat and fry the shiitake mushrooms for 2 minutes, then remove and set aside.

Add the carrot, 50 ml ( fl oz) water and a pinch of salt to the same pan. Steam for 2 minutes. Tip the carrots into a colander to drain. Repeat the same process with the spinach. Tip the spinach into the colander with the carrots and run them under cold water to cool. Squeeze the vegetables with your hands to remove the liquid.

Break the drained tofu into pieces. Combine the tofu with the soy sauce, sugar, mirin and miso and blend until smooth.

Grind the sesame seeds in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Just before serving, mix the tofu purée, vegetables and ground sesame seeds together. Mix well.