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Spinach with tofu sauce

Erchen Chang, the creative director and co-founder of Bao restaurants in London, offers up recipes inspired by Taiwanese noodle shops, starting with spinach in tofu sauce
Issy Croker

Blanched green leaves is one of the most common side dishes in a Taiwanese noodle shop, and each place makes their own unique dressing. This version is a combination of grassy olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and lemon juice, while delicate spinach is coated in a silky and creamy tofu sauce. You could use any greens with soft leaves, such as chard, but I find that spinach is the best match.


Ingredients for the spinach dressing

4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (preferably a green and grassy one)
2tbsp soy sauce
4tsp lemon juice
2tsp sesame oil
20g caster sugar

for the tofu sauce

30g firm tofu
15g tofuru (white fermented bean curd)\
2tsp lemon juice
4tsp soya milk
2tbsp rapeseed oil
400g spinach
  1. Method

    Step 1

    To make the spinach dressing, whisk all the ingredients together to form an emulsion. You can store it in a sterilised bottle in the fridge until you are ready to serve, which will help the dressing to reach the required consistency.

    Step 2

    For the tofu sauce, blend the firm tofu, the tofuru (fermented bean curd), lemon juice, soya milk and a pinch of salt to a smooth mixture. Whisk in the rapeseed oil slowly to emulsify. The texture should look shiny and have a thickness similar to yoghurt. This will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.

    Step 3

    Bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the spinach for 10 seconds, then strain thoroughly. Divide the spinach equally between four small bowls, spoon over 2tbsp of the dressing and finish with a generous teaspoon of tofu sauce, allowing it to drizzle gracefully down the side of the spinach.