Sesame Tofu Salad Dressing: Shira-ae

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Japanese salads are not usually made with raw vegetables; aemono are usually made with lightly cooked vegetables. The dressings usually do not contain oil but are prepared with vinegar, citrus juice, miso, ground nuts (walnuts), sesame, or other flavors. Shira-ae—white salad—is a traditional Japanese salad dressing in which tofu is blended with sesame paste and sometimes miso.

This salad can be made all year ’round by varying seasonal vegetables or even fruit! Konyaku, carrots, fresh or dried mushrooms (cloud ear, shiitake, shimej (use imagination!), lotus root, tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, zucchini, burdock, spinach, chrysanthemum leaves, of other leafy-green vegetables, sweet potatoes, wakame or hijiki… Mango, papaya, apple, cantaloupe, persimmon…