Tofu No Ishirizuke (tofu doused in fish sauce)

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1 10.5 ounce block Japanese-style tofu
2 teaspoons Japanese fish sauce *
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon quality dark sesame oil
7-spice powder (shichimi togarashi)

Remove the tofu from the package and set it on a cutting board propped up at one end and angled into the kitchen sink to allow it to drain.  Place another cutting board or other similar weight on top of the tofu and leave to press out moisture for 1 hour. The top board should not smash the tofu.

Place the tofu on a small plate, spoon the fish sauce over the tofu, and rub it across the surface. Make sure the bottom surface is filmed with fish sauce as well. Place a sauté pan over high heat and add the oils. Carefully add the fish sauced tofu into the hot pan. Sear on both sides for about 1 minute. Cut into 8 pieces, sprinkle with shichimi togarashi, and serve as a small plate before dinner or as a side dish.

Schichimi Togarashi (7-SPICE POWDER): Contains red pepper, sansho, tangerine peel, white and black sesame seeds, hemp seeds, dried ginger, and aonori. Readily available at Asian markets.

* If Japanese fish sauce is not available, use another top-shelf fish sauce such as Red Boat from Vietnam.

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