Silken tofu gets its delicate texture from the way the soy milk is treated – it isn’t drained or pressed during production, retaining more water and resulting in a custardy texture that crumbles easily when handled. For this tofu ceviche recipe I chose to use the firm silken variety as it offered better shape while still remaining beautifully tender.
The protein-rich tofu is cured in citrus juice, in the same way fish and seafood are treated in traditional ceviche. Similarly with the raw onion and garlic used in the marinade, the acids ‘cook’ the alliums leaving their fresh flavour while taming their wild edge. The tofu can be left in the marinade (refrigerated) for up to forty-eight hours, developing in flavour the longer it sits, though any longer and those acids will start to break the tofu down.
As this recipe is traditionally made with fish, I felt that it would be nice to add a little of the sea back in with the addition of samphire. This unusual (though widely available) vegetable grows on rocks and cliffs by the sea and tastes very much of the salt water that feeds its growth. In this ceviche, its characteristic saltiness also helps balance the sweet, sour, spicy and herbal flavours of the other ingredients.
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