I, too, have had a memorable encounter with silken tofu, made to order at a farm to table restaurant in Taiwan, in a serving much the opposite of this wonderful dish, served warm, with a spoon in a cup, much like pudding, with soy sauce on the side as the sole seasoning. It was gentle, pudding-like, and comforting, and the tofu felt less fragile encased in a cup.
Here, the fragility of the tofu is fully evident, and the contrast between the fragile tofu and the multi-textured seasonings that pack a punch is as terrific as described in the headnote. To call this silken tofu “magical” would be an understatement. Silken tofu is most often relegated to a miso soup topping—a few tiny cubes floating in a bowl of miso soup. I am generally a little stumped about what else to do with silken tofu beyond the miso soup adornment. Here is the exciting opposite of those cubes. The creamy tofu base is perfect for the multiplicity of colors, textures, and flavors, bite after terrific bite.
I treated this as a lunch entrée rather than as a starter, so it was accurately two light entrée-sized servings with rice and some cucumber slices served alongside. I am lucky to have wonderful fresh and local silken tofu, used regular soy sauce, and the pickled chili peppers captured from a container of locally-made giardiniera. The peppers were green rather than red as in the picture. The red in the photo are more festive and give a better visual pop, but tastewise, the green served their purpose as the spicy element in the topping mix.
Despite my excitement, it is still definitely a tofu dish, and I don’t think it will convert any tofu haters, but for those seeking a new and interesting twist to their tofu repertoire, here it is!