Tofu with Radish Green Relish
When radish bunches with fresh greens are available, do not discard the greens. They can be added to soup or used in cold side dishes, especially Korean banchan (blanch first or wilt the leaves in salt as in the recipe below), or make this relish, which can be served over cooled blanched soft tofu or firmer types as desired.
1 bunch fresh red or white icicle radishes with leaves
1½ tsp / 7 mL salt (approx)
5 tsp / 25 mL sesame oil
2½ tsp / 12 mL garlic, minced
2 red hot peppers, seeded and minced
1 green onion, minced
6 to 10 oz / 200 to 300 g tofu
2 tsp / 10 mL soy sauce
1 tsp / 5 mL rice or cider vinegar
Roasted sesame seeds
Clean radish greens in a couple changes of cold water (they are often very sandy). Drain and, in a bowl, mix with 1 tsp/5 mL of the salt. Let sit, remixing once or twice, until completely wilted, about 30 minutes. Squeeze out moisture, rinse under cold water and drain well, gently squeezing out excess water. Mince and set aside.
In very small skillet or saucepan, heat 4 tsp/20 mL of the sesame oil over low heat; add garlic, hot peppers and a pinch salt and slowly fry, stirring occasionally, until garlic is soft and very fragrant, but not darkened, about 3 minutes. Add green onion and fry for about 30 seconds; pour in a couple tablespoons of water and the sugar and gently cook, adding a bit more water as necessary to keep moist, until leaves are very tender, 2 or 3 minutes. Raise heat a little and simmer until water is cooked out, but relish is moist. Scrape into bowl; let cool.
Meanwhile, very thinly slice 2 or more radishes to taste and sprinkle generously with salt; let sit until juices start to run out and radish slices are tender. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Blanch tofu in gently boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds; remove from water and let cool, pouring off any liquid.
Slice or cube tofu and plate; scatter radish slices over or around tofu as desired. Mix soy sauce, vinegar and remaining 1 tsp/5 mL sesame oil with cooked radish greens and spoon over top of tofu. Garnish with sesame seeds.