Single Serving of Bachan's Tofu Salad

By Kristin Eriko Posner
May 21, 2018
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Author Notes: This recipe reminds me of warm summer days when I was a little girl, watching my Mom prepare dinner for our family. As soon as the scent of the dressing hit my nose, I knew what was for dinner: My favorite tofu salad from my grandmother's cookbook. Recently, I asked my Mom to send me this recipe and she had no idea what I was talking about. I instructed her to look in the cabinet under the microwave on the bottom shelf for the spiral-bound, green and pink tattered cookbook on the left side. She was shocked that I remembered exactly where this recipe was from, and frankly so was I!

My grandmother, Fusae Namimoto, moved to Los Angeles from Kauai in the early 80's. She didn't take much with her; one of the few things she brought over to the mainland was this Hawaiian cookbook. It's a collection of potluck recipes from a community center that she must have been part of on Kauai. I've changed the recipe a bit (it calls for 1/2 cup of soy sauce!) reducing the soy sauce and adding a bit of rice vinegar instead. I know that to some, it may just seem like a simple weeknight salad; but I always feel like I am honoring my grandmother and Mom when I prepare it.
Kristin Eriko Posner

Serves: 1
Prep time: 20 min

Dressing

  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated
  • 2 stalks green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Salad

  • 1 cup lettuce, chopped into 1" slices (Bibb, butter and red leaf all work well)
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed into 1/2" squares
  • 1/4 of a 14 oz. silken tofu, cubed into 1/2" squares
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  1. Heat vegetable oil on a small pan and add garlic. Remove from heat. Add soy sauce and green onions, stir. Quickly add rice vinegar then sesame oil and stir again.
  2. While the dressing is cooling, prep salad ingredients. Layer in order listed above, then drizzle dressing over it. Serve immediately and enjoy!
  3. *Optional/not pictured: Add 1/2 of a 4 oz. can of oil-packed, wild sardines (or any other good quality, non-smoked, sustainably-caught canned fish)

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