Recipe: Tomato Salad with Ume Dressing from Tokyo Local »

By Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew

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<i>Tokyo Local</i> by Caryn and Brendan Liew

Tokyo Local by Caryn and Brendan Liew [©Smith Street Books ]

Tomato Salad,Tokyo Local


Toyko Local's sub-title, Cult recipes from the streets that make the city, says it all. These are recipes that reflect the distinctly Japanese way of blending the past with the present. The huge array and intriguing mix of street foods in Toyko make it a food-lover's paradise.

Caryn and Brendan Liew have brought that paradise a little closer in Tokyo Local. Robyn loved this book and says if you've been intimidated by Japanese food, now is the time to start working away that apprehension.

This recipe is one of 70 from Tokyo Local that are easily achieveable at home.

 Caryn and Brendan write:

Tomato Salad with Ume Dressing

This modern salad combines luscious sweet tomatoes with a delicious Japanese dressing of tofu, umeboshi (pickled plum) and ume vinegar. It’s best eaten in summer when tomatoes are at their peak, and we also recommend it with heirloom varieties.

The ume vinegar and umeboshi [Ed: buy them in an Asian food store] are essential for the tartness they bring; the bacon, which adds a wonderful crunch, is entirely optional.

Ingredients (serves 4 as a side)

  • 2 slices bacon (optional)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 200g (7 oz) assorted sprouts such as mung bean, snow pea and alfalfa
  • 1 tablespoon shredded shiso (perilla) leaves
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 umeboshi (pickled plum), seed removed, torn into small pieces

Ingredients – dressing

  • 100 g (3½ oz) silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons ume vinegar (or 1 umeboshi and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a frying pan over medium heat, fry the bacon until crispy, then drain and break up into small pieces.
  2. To make the dressing, blend or mix the silken tofu, ume vinegar, sugar and oil together until homogenous.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cut the tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Combine with the sprouts, shiso and shallot, then transfer to a serving bowl and top with the dressing, bacon if using, and umeboshi.


This recipe is from Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew and reproduced here with the kind permission of the publisher.

Tokyo Local – Cult Recipes from the Streets that Make the City by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew is published by Smith Street Books and distributed by Simon & Shuster (Melbourne, May 2018; hc; 224 pp) and retails in Australia for RRP A$39.99.

Read Robyn's full review of Tokyo Local »

View the press release »

See links below for further recipes.


  • japan-all (JP)

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August 14th, 2018
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