Prosperous New Year Stir Fry

Hakko Hub

February 9, 2022

Last October, American food professionals visited fermented food producers to deepen their knowledge of Japanese fermentation culture during the “Hakko Tourism in Japan” tour campaign. As part of the tour, organizers held a tasting session where guests gave candid advice from the perspective of the American market to food product manufacturers looking to enter the United States market.

Servings: 4


  • 6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion cut into wedges
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup pistachios chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 cups cooked rice for serving
Yasai itame on a plate


  1. Drain the tofu and wrap in a clean towel or paper towels. Press the tofu for at least 15 minutes by adding weight to it. Once pressed, cut the tofu into cubes.
  2. Combine 6 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, cumin, and red pepper flakes in a mixing bowl. Add the cubed tofu and toss gently. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove the tofu from the marinade and pat dry. Toss the tofu with the cornstarch to coat. Reserve the marinade.
  4. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove the onion from the pan.
  5. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, let it heat up then add the tofu in one layer. Let the tofu cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Flip and brown 2 minutes on each side. Add the onions and reserved marinade back to the pan and cook, stirring gently, until heated through, about 1 minute.
  6. Stir 1 teaspoon soy sauce into the yogurt. Serve the tofu mixture over rice topped with a dollop of yogurt, pomegranate seeds, chopped pistachios, and cilantro leaves.
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