Feb 13, 2010
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tofu, Nori & Walnut Butter
This Japanese-inspired dish may sound strange but the three components – baked sweet potatoes, grilled marinated tofu and whipped butter – add up to a rich dish, which can be served as a first course, or add a salad for a vegetarian meal or light lunch. Carnivores can use chicken breast and the same marinade instead of tofu.
6 small orange sweet potatoes, well washed
600g tofu in blocks
3 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
4 tablespoons sake
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1½ sheets nori
150g butter, softened but not melted
¼ cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
salt to taste
3 tablespoons soy bean oil
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the kumara on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour until very tender when pierced with a skewer. Remove from the oven.
Meanwhile, wrap the tofu in 4 layers of paper towels, rest 2 plates on top and set aside for 30 minutes. This will squeeze out some of the moisture so it will be firmer and easier to handle.
Remove the towels and dice the tofu into 3cm cubes. Place in a shallow glass, china or stainless steel dish just big enough to hold it.
Put the honey, soy, sake and garlic in a small saucepan and warm, stirring, until the honey dissolves. Cool then pour over the tofu. Marinate, turning occasionally, for 15 minutes.
Toast the nori by quickly dragging it across a very low gas flame or electric element until fragrant and beginning to shrivel and become crisp. Slice into very thin strips with scissors.
Place 3⁄4 of the nori (reserve the remainder for garnish) and the butter in a food processor and process until well whipped. Stir in the walnuts. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Place in a bowl and reserve.
Remove the tofu from the marinade, discarding the garlic. Grill over low to moderate heat on an oiled grill or barbecue, brushing occasionally with the leftover marinade, for about 3-4 minutes each side until well browned.
Slice each hot kumara in half lengthwise. Serve the tofu on the flesh side of the kumara with the butter and nori garnish on top. Serves 6.