Mar 10, 2017

Silken Tofu

As one third of the innovative trio behind Portland’s Aviary Restaurant, chef Sarah Pliner brings her love of exotic Eastern flavours to the popular eatery’s small plate menu.

Aviary – which regularly appears on Portland’s best restaurant lists for its “consistent creativity’ – is aptly located in the city’s Alberta arts district. Praise from top reviewers for its interesting and affordable dishes brings locals flocking to its large communal table.


  • 1 block soft or silken tofu,
  • cut into thirds
  • 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbs black vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbs sweet hot bean paste
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 6 spring onions thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup diced rock melon
  • 2 tbs coriander leaves
  • 2 tbs purple shiso
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • Salt
  • 1⁄4 cup toasted crushed
  • sesame seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 1 lime to zest


Place the tofu in three shallow bowls.

Mix the soy sauce, black vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar, then pour into the bowls with the tofu.

Mix the hot bean paste, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the remaining teaspoon of sugar, then use a spoon to spread the paste on top of the tofu.

Mix the spring onions, melon, herbs, ginger, last two tablespoons of olive oil and salt to taste, then mound on top of the tofu.

Dust the whole thing with sesame, peanuts, and lime zest.