Japanese tofu served cold

Serves 4

This easy-to-prepare, inexpensive dish is quite popular in homes during the hot summer months and at Japanese izakaya (Japanese taverns).

Hiyayakko is pronounced hee - yah -yak - koh. It is usually served as a side dish to supplement a main dish or together with other side dishes at izakaya.


  • Fresh tofu: 1 block (approx. 4"X6")
  • Momen (cotton strained) tofu is probably more popular than Kinugoshi (silk strained) tofu, however, either is alright. If you are expecting guests who aren't all that used to chopsticks, then try to get the momen because it is firmer and easier to pick up.
  • Long green onion: 1 stalk (the slenderer the better)
  • Shoyu (soy sauce): 4 tablespoon
  • Ginger: grated, enough to lightly sprinkle on the tofu
  • Bonito shavings (katsuobushi)

  • 1) Replace the tofu water in the package 3 or 4 times. Leave immersed in water until ready to cut into serving sized blocks.

    2) Chop the long green onion into small pieces. Normally, the resulting pieces should look like little tubular circles about 1/16th of an inch in height.

    3) Grate the ginger if you haven't done so already.

    4) Drain the water and cut the tofu in half lengthwise and then into equal blocks. You should wind up with 8 blocks in the case of a normal sized block of tofu.

    5) Put the tofu into a deep saucer. Most of the serving dishes used in Japan for this purpose are about 1 to 3 inches deep and roughly about 3 or 4 inches across, but anything that will hold it will do.

    6) Sprinkle the grated ginger on top of the tofu roughly in the middle of the tofu block so it forms a small bed about 1/2 to 3/4 inch square. Sprinkle 1/2 -1 teaspoon of the green onions on top of this. Pour 1 tablespoon of soy sauce over each serving of tofu (2 blocks).

    7) Immediately before serving, sprinkle the bonito shavings over the top of the tofu. 1 tablespoon or so should be plenty. Don't do this too far ahead of serving or the bonito shavings will get soggy.

    8) Serve as soon as possible after preparing so the tofu doesn't get warm. If you really want to make it look snazzy, put the dishes into a larger dish and put ice into the space between serving dishes. If you're feeling artistic lay something that looks like bamboo leaves or fern fronds between the dishes on the ice.

    As in all of the recipes on our pages, you might have to experiment a bit to get this dish to your liking. Don't be afraid to delete things you don't like -the only things that are really essential in this recipe are the tofu and the soy sauce. Don't skimp and buy cheap soy sauce because it really is a key ingredient.

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    Disclaimer: Neither A.E.L.S. nor the author will be responsible for any problems directly or indirectly caused by this and/or other recipes in this site.

    Copyright 1999, A.E.L.S., Inc. Billy Hammond