Have fun experimenting with different in-season ingredients wherever you are.
6 oz awase miso (or blend or equal parts white & red miso)
1/4 cup sake
1/2 cup mirin
3 tablespoons sifted natural cane sugar
red pepper flakes or shichimi tōgarashi, a big pinch or two
4 cups / 12 oz / 340 g bite-sized veggies (see headnotes)
12 ounces / 340 g baked or grilled (or lightly pan-fried) firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
Start the dressing first. Combine miso, sake, mirin, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil, dial down the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until it thickens a bit. Toward the end, stir in the red pepper flakes, adding to taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In the meantime, bring a pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and blanch the vegetables very briefly, just long enough to take the raw edge off, no more than a minute. I knew the broccoli might take 20-30 seconds longer to cook than the thin asparagus, so I added it to the pot first. Use your best judgment based on whatever vegetables you are using. Drain and immediately run under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well, you want to try to get as much water off the vegetables as possible.
In a large serving bowl gently toss the vegetables until thoroughly coated with 1/3 cup / 80 ml of the miso dressing. Add the tofu and toss again. Taste and add more dressing if you like, just keep in mind, this particular dressing is quite strong and rich. Serve family-style or individually topped with a bit more shichimi tōgarashi or a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.
Serves 4 - 6, plus leftover dressing.