I recently learned this in Kyoto, so it has a Kyoto-style flavour to it, ie. very subtle without using much seasonings. This’ll get spinach-haters eating the versatile vegetable, and after you’ve tasted the dressing, you’ll never look at tofu the same way again. 

Serves 4

1 cup boiled and shelled edamame soybeans

8 stalks of spinach

For the dressing:

200 g cotton tofu

1 tbsp nerigoma (sesame paste) [peanut butter can be used as a substitute, just not the chunky kind]

1 tbsp white miso [stronger, more common red miso can be substituted, but use only 1/2 tbsp unless you want a stronger flavour]

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp mirin (sweet rice wine, not regular rice wine)

1 tsp ground white sesame seeds

pinch of salt

1. Wrap the tofu in a few layers of paper towel and put some weight on it to extract the water out. Let sit for about 15 minutes or until you’re ready to use it. 

2. Parboil the spinach 4 stalks at a time (or depending on how large your pot is) in boiling water and some salt for about 2 minutes. Spinach cooks really fast, so be careful not to overdo it. 

3. Take them out of the water with some tongs and run over cold water to stop the cooking process. They should be wilted but still vibrant green. When finished, hold the spinach vertically from the stalks and squeeze the water out. Chop out the tip of the stalks and cut the spinach into three parts. Set aside. 

3. Parboil the tofu for about 1 minute, then put through a mesh strainer or puree with a blender until thick.

4. Combine the nerigoma, miso, soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin, ground sesame seeds, and salt and mix until it’s consistent. Nerigoma might be tricky to work with as it’s so thick, but keep at it. Incorporate into the pureed tofu. 

5. In a bowl, place some edamame and spinach (about 2 stalks), and top with a spoonful of the tofu dressing. Add some sansho leaves for garnish. This salad is best served cold, so refrigerate before serving.