Matsuhisa Slider Tofu Buns

One of the items that’s appeared on the Nobu menus are the Matsuhisa sliders.  I was intrigued by its very existence and came across the following quote –

…For instance we’ve developed a slider [mini-hamburger] without using bread for the bun.  It’s a ground beef patty with fried onions, mushrooms and tofu. Japanese people never eat bread with a meal and lots of people are avoiding bread or have an allergy. The new slider was developed for them… -Nobu Matsuhisa

(see http://civilianglobal.com/features/nobu-tokyo-nobu-london-nobu-beverly-hills-an-interview-with-nobu-nobu-hotel-london-nobu-hotel-las-vegas/ )

With a little more research, I found: http://www.four-magazine.com/articles/1482/fourusa-four-recipes-from-nobu

Wow. A tofu bun.  The first thing I thought might be useful was to learn out to make that tofu bun (thinking ahead to other ‘sandwich’ applications) which called for –

180g dry tofu (dry overnight in chiller with weight on top to remove water) – about 6.3oz to start
1 egg white (about 3 Tablespoons of packaged egg white, if you must)
15ml mirin      – about 1/2 oz (1 tablespoon)
15ml soya sauce – about 1/2 oz (1 tablespoon)
Salt, to season (turned out to be 1/16t)

Note: The 3 tablespoon equivalent for 1 egg white was taken from http://www.allwhiteseggwhites.com/products/how-to-measure.cfm

Tofu product for the bun (note: it's 12.3 oz, so basically double the recipe amount)

Tofu product for the bun (note: it’s 12.3 oz, so basically double the recipe amount)

Getting ready to press the tofu of excess water

Getting ready to press the tofu of excess water

Wrapped up and ready for the weight

Wrapped up and ready for the weight

tofu press setup ready for the refridgerator

tofu press setup ready for the refridgerator

...into da cooler with you!

…into da cooler with you!

So for this version, the tofu was basically double the amount, so I would need two egg whites (6 T), 2 T mirin

After pressing and the water squeezed out of the paper towels that wrapped the tofu

After pressing and the water wrung out of the paper towels that wrapped the tofu

and 2 T soy sauce and salt to taste.

Squeezed out tofu water came to about 3 oz

wrung out tofu water came to about  2 2/3 oz

It’s interesting to note that the amount of egg white replaces the amount of water pressed out of the tofu!

So I had to mix all ingredients in a blender with the egg whites added last since I wanted to taste the mix for added salt seasoning (turned out to be 1/8t).

All ingredients (doubled)

All non-tofu ingredients (doubled)

All ingredients and indeed, the two egg whites came to 3 oz

All ingredients and indeed, the two egg whites came to 3 oz

All ingredients except the egg whites into the mini food processor

Tofu, mirin, soy sauce into the mini food processor

Blended ingredients just before adding salt and the egg whites

Blended ingredients just before adding salt and the egg whites

tofu bun "batter" after the addition of the egg whites

tofu bun “batter” after the addition of the egg whites

Form four buns (45g each[1.5oz] – estimated to be 3 tablespoons) and place in burger rings then cook in oven at 170C for 10-12 minutes. Interestingly, the amount made allowed me to put 4 tablespoon of the batter/3″ food ring!

Greased (rice oil) baking sheet and greased 3" food rings each filled with 4 tablespoons of the batter

Greased (rice oil) baking sheet and greased 3″ food rings each filled with 4 tablespoons of the batter

Allow to cool cut each one in two pieces (170C==338F).  But how large a ‘burger ring’?   Well, as I understand it, a slider is a sandwich about 3″ (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slider_%28sandwich%29 ); so I figure I’d use 3″ molds for the buns.

tofu buns out of the oven, cooling

tofu buns out of the oven, cooling

But what could I do with the buns?  Well, besides the obvious Matsuhisa burger slider (yes, I know, there’s the seafood and vegetarian variants), I could think

The completed buns out of their rings

The completed buns out of their rings

of doing a chicken katsu slider ( see http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/traveltips/10512 ) or pork belly slider or even a simple breakfast egg slider!

So, speaking of breakfast egg sliders, my wife volunteered to help out and to make the egg/sausage components for the slider whilst I got the the tofu buns

Cooking the eggs in the 3" food ring along with some sausage pieces

Cooking the eggs in the 3″ food ring along with some sausage pieces

ready.  Preparing the tofu buns required a little bit of  care.  So, in order to split them, I got a good sharp serrated knife and sliced the buns from the heel of

Getting ready to split the bun

Getting ready to split the bun

the blade to the tip in one careful stroke.  I didn’t think it was a good idea to ‘saw’ the buns since I felt it might cause the to crumble.  The color on the buns didn’t quite look right compared to the photo found at: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/495958977685221036  so I thought I’d get them into my counter top

Getting some buns into the oven to 'toast'

Getting some buns into the oven to ‘toast’

oven to toast.  And voila!  The color of the buns came close to what I expected!

Assembling a breakfast slider

Assembling a breakfast slider

...and the color looks right too!

…and the color looks right too!

On plating the slider, I followed the idea of putting a bit of lettuce leaf underneath each slider to make it easy to handle and to give it a little lighter/fresh taste.

Ready for breakfast!

Ready for breakfast!

The sliders pretty much matched our expectations in terms of taste.  There was also that nice faintly sweet/salty taste from the bun. Overall, I’m looking forward to making these buns again.  The next time I do this, I’m going to go ahead and make the Matsuhisa burger slider with the fixings!

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