Chef Douglas Keane regularly serves housemade tofu on his tasting menu at Cyrus, a Michelin two-star restaurant in Healdsburg, CA, and uses it in this uncommonly good creation. For her home rendition, San Francisco cookbook author and cooking teacher Andrea Nguyen likes to roast the parsnips with sesame oil to amplify their sweet earthiness.
3 tablespoons each white (shiro) miso
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
3/4 cup sake
1/2 cup plus 2 1/2 tbsp. mirin (sweet sake), divided
4 ounces tatsoi, mizuna, or spinach, cut into bite-size pieces (4 lightly packed cups)
How to Make It
Whisk together miso, mustard, Sriracha, sake, and 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. mirin in a small saucepan. Add ginger. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 6 to 8 minutes, or until sauce is just thick enough to coat a spoon. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pushing against solids. Let glaze cool to room temperature.
Bring remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. mirin and the vinegar to a boil in a very small saucepan. Add goji berries. Return to a boil and remove from heat. Let cool, uncovered.
Put rack in middle of oven, then preheat oven to 400°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut 1 parsnip lengthwise into 8 spears. Cut remaining parsnips into 3/4-in. chunks. Transfer spears and chunks to baking sheet, season with salt and white pepper, and toss with sesame oil. Spread in a single layer, with spears cut side down. Bake parsnips 20 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times.
Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Cut tofu into 4 rectangular slabs, each about the size of a deck of cards, and put in a large, shallow bowl. Pour hot water over tofu and let soak 15 minutes. Drain on a clean dish towel or a double layer of paper towels set on a plate.
Remove parsnip spears from oven when tips begin to brown; remove chunks when just fork-tender. Let chunks cool 5 minutes, then purée in a food processor with 2 tbsp. miso-mustard glaze and 1 cup hot water until smooth but able to hold a peak when spooned onto a plate (add up to 1/2 cup hot water if needed). Keep warm, covered.
Put tatsoi in a large saucepan with 1/4 cup hot water and cook over low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 5 minutes; drain and return to pan. Stir in goji berries and some of their pickling liquid.
Pour remaining miso-mustard glaze into a medium frying pan. Blot moisture from tofu with paper towels and add tofu to glaze. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, spooning glaze over tofu, until glaze sticks to top of tofu and has reduced by one-half to two-thirds.
Spoon parsnip purée onto plates. With a spatula, set tofu on parsnip purée. Drizzle glaze over tofu and top with tatsoi and goji berries, then add parsnip spears.
*Find at Whole Foods Market, health food stores, and Asian markets.
Make ahead: Miso glaze and goji pickle, up to 3 days, chilled (bring pickle to room temperature before proceeding).
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