5 Minute Recipes/ Asian Recipes/ Japanese/ Recipes/ Side Dish/ Super Simple

Hiyayakko – Japanese Cold Tofu Recipe

16/09/2022

Get ready for the easiest 5 minute meal – Hiyayakko. This Japanese cold tofu recipe is ideal for a quick and healthy lunch you can have at work or home, with loads of topping ideas to get you started.

Square piece of silken tofu in a shallow white dish with soy sauce.

Why We Love This

Hiyayakko is one of our favourite soft tofu recipes and the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer’s day! This delicious chilled tofu is light and satisfying without weighing you down. 

It’s a really quick and easy side dish or appetiser you can serve before (or alongside) other classic Japanese recipes like yakisoba or okonomiyaki. But if you love tofu as much as we do, you can enjoy it as a quick meal all on its own.

Related: Yudofu (Hot Tofu) / Agedashi Tofu / Japanese Tofu Patties

A pair of wooden chopsticks hold up a piece of silken tofu topped with bonito and spring onion.

What is Hiyayakko? 

Hiyayakko (written in Japanese as 冷奴 or ひやや​っこ) translates as chilled tofu or cold tofu. Hiya means chilled, and yakko refers to the traditional square block shape of the tofu.

Japanese cold tofu is usually enjoyed as an appetiser or side dish in the summer months to cool off. 

The small square of soft or silken tofu is served chilled, most often topped with staple Japanese toppings like soy sauce, sliced green onions / spring onion, bonito flakes, ginger (or myoga) and wasabi.

What You’ll Need

  • Tofu – This dish is traditionally made with soft or silken tofu rather than firm tofu. 
  • Soy Sauce – For the best flavour and quality use a Japanese soy sauce such as Kikkoman which has the perfect balance of flavour and salt. Tamari also works great as a gluten-free option.
  • Ginger – Fresh grated ginger gives the tofu a zesty, peppery flavour finish. If you don’t like it, you can leave it out.
  • Dried Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi) – This traditional Japanese seasoning brings delicious umami flavour. Sub with a splash of dashi stock or fish sauce (not traditional, but a great sub for umami flavour) or just leave them out.
  • Spring Onion / Green Onion – Adding a little crunch and freshness to the dish, try to pick smaller spring onion as it’s sweeter and goes well alongside the other toppings.
  • Wasabi – Similar to horseradish, we love the bite this gives with each mouthful. Feel free to skip if you don’t like heat!
Ingredients laid out ready to make Japanese cold tofu.

How to Prepare Cold Tofu

  1. Carefully place the silken tofu into a small dish and drizzle over the soy sauce.
  2. Place your favourite toppings on top. We recommend bonito flakesspring onionginger and wasabi.
  1. To cut the tofu, use your chopsticks pressed together. Slice into bite size pieces and enjoy!

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Storage – This dish is best enjoyed immediately for fresh flavours and colours. If left too long, the tofu will absorb the brown colour from the soy sauce.
  • Work Lunch – If you’re taking it to work, store your toppings and soy sauce separately and assemble at work for the best results.

FAQs

How should I eat hiyayakko?

Traditionally this dish is eaten with chopsticks. You can use them to slice the tofu into small bite-sized pieces. If chopsticks aren’t your forte, feel free to use a spoon or fork instead.

Does the tofu have to be a square?

No. While traditionally served in a square shape, you can serve it as a whole rectangle if that’s how you bought it or what you prefer.

Is hiyayakko vegan?

Yes, it all depends on the toppings you choose. The base is usually just silken tofu and soy sauce, so from there select your favourite vegan topping combinations. Some that work well are:
– Ginger, spring onion and gomashio
– Natto and shichimi togarashi
– Cucumber and tomato (Western style) with a balsamic or wafu dressing drizzle.

Variations

  • Get Creative – This recipe is meant to act as a base. Our toppings used are just one option to get you started, but feel free to put whatever you like on top. If you like it, that’s all that matters!
  • Make it Spicy – Serve with kimchi, rayu chilli oil or shichimi togarashi.
  • Sesame Flavour – Top with a splash of toasted sesame oil and/or sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and a pinch of salt.
  • Citrus Burst – Swap the soy sauce for ponzu sauce, garnish with fresh yuzu, lemon or lime zest.
A hand is pouring a small dish of soy sauce over the Japanese cold tofu.

The best Japanese dishes to have alongside hiyayakko:

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Hiyayakko in a white dish in a shallow pool of soy sauce.

Hiyayakko – Japanese Cold Tofu Recipe

Get ready for the easiest 5 minute meal – Hiyayakko. This Japanese cold tofu recipe is ideal for a quick and healthy lunch you can have at work or home, with loads of topping ideas to get you started.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 143kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Carefully place the silken tofu into a small dish and drizzle over the soy sauce.
    200 g silken tofu, 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Place your favourite toppings on top. We recommend bonito flakes, spring onion, ginger and wasabi. More topping ideas below in the notes!
    1 tsp ginger, 1 spring onion / green onion, 2 tbsp bonito flakes / katsuobushi, ½ tsp wasabi
  • To cut the tofu, use your chopsticks pressed together. Slice into bite size pieces and enjoy!

Video

Recipe Notes

  • Topping Ideas:
  • Storage – This dish is best enjoyed immediately for fresh flavours and colours. If left too long, the tofu will absorb the brown colour from the soy sauce.
  • Work Lunch – If you’re taking it to work, store your toppings and soy sauce separately and assemble at work for the best results.
  • Get Creative – This recipe is meant to act as a base. Our toppings used are just one option to get you started, but feel free to put whatever you like on top. If you like it, that’s all that matters!
  • Make it Spicy – Serve with kimchi, rayu chilli oil or shichimi togarashi.
  • Sesame Flavour – Top with a splash of toasted sesame oil and/or sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and a pinch of salt.
  • Citrus Burst – Swap the soy sauce for ponzu sauce, garnish with fresh yuzu, lemon or lime zest.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Hiyayakko – Japanese Cold Tofu Recipe
Amount per Serving
Calories
143
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
1
mg
0
%
Sodium
 
2027
mg
88
%
Potassium
 
496
mg
14
%
Carbohydrates
 
9
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
15
g
30
%
Vitamin A
 
120
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
79
mg
8
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Hey hey – Did you make this recipe?We’d love it if you could give a star rating below ★★★★★ and show us your creations on Instagram! Snap a pic and tag @wandercooks / #Wandercooks
Hiyayakko - Japanese Cold Tofu Recipe

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