Turkey and Spinach Salad with Shira-ae
If anyone knows me, they know I am not fan of turkey on Thanksgiving. Instead I often take the whole turkey and cook it multiple Japanese ways. Truthfully, I am only a fan of Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. You know what I mean, I love those sloppy turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy sandwiches. I also look forward to pulling apart leftover breast and thighs meat to make a wonderfully light & satisfying Shira-ae.
This recipe calls for using raw turkey or chicken but using leftover roasted turkey or chicken will work just as well (just skip the steps in the first paragraph of the “To make the Salad” method). In fact, this recipe is a weekly dish in my household for lunch. Sometimes we sub tofu for those times we are feeling meat free.
300g tofu (silken or medium firm)
2 tablespoons Wadaman Organic Golden Sesame Paste
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup konbu dashi
2 teaspoons Suehiro Usukuchi Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 8 oz turkey or chicken breast or tenders
- 1 bunch mature spinach, thoroughly washed
- 1 cup Shira-ae
- Wadaman Roasted Organic Golden Sesame Seeds, for garnish
Shira-ae (tofu sesame dressing)
For the Salad
To make the Shira-ae (dressing):
- Sandwich the tofu between a couple of layers of paper towels, and put it on a plate with another plate on top to act as a weight. Leave for at least 30 minutes to extract water. You may need to drain the accumulated liquid, change the paper towels, and repeat the pressing during this time (depending on the moisture content of the tofu).
- Break the tofu apart with your fingers into a suribachi (Japanese mortar), then add the remaining ingredients. Stir with the surikogi (pestle) until the mixture is almost smooth.
To make the Salad:
Bring the dashi to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the shoyu and mirin and bring to a boil. Add the turkey and simmer until just cooked through, then remove the pan from the heat. Once cooled down, use your fingers to shred the turkey into bite sized pieces.
Bring abundant water to a boil in a large pot, add the spinach, and cook for 20 to 30 seconds. Lift the spinach from the water, and allow it to cool.
- In a large bowl or the suribachi (if large enough), toss the spinach, turkey and shira-ae together until combined. Garnish with sesame seeds.