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March 15, 2024

Charred Hakurei (Tokyo) Turnips

with whipped mirin marinated tofu and furikake

Charred Hakurei (Tokyo) Turnips

With winter coming to a close, we are savoring the the tail end of some root vegetable in our garden like turnips. We love the simplicity of a charred turnip paired with the acid and umami from whipped tofu shmear. This recipe walks you through how to do this in a home oven but a grill works just as well (if not better). 

Fun fact about turnips: they are excellent cover crops. As they grow, they break up the soil. Then, as they decompose, they release their nutrients back in to the soil. Their thick roots are also great for loosening and aerating the hard and compacted soil. 


1 bunch Tokyo Turnips, cut in half lengthwise with leaves intact
1/4 cup 100% Pure Avocado Oil
3 tbsp Togarashi or Furikake seasoning
1 container Soft Tofu
3 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp Ponzu Sauce
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
Salt + Pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, gently toss the turnips in the oil to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Remove from the bowl and lay each half turnip cut side down along
each of the two short edges of a sheet tray (leaves facing the middle of the pan), making sure they do not overlap or overly crowd.

3. Place the turnips on the sheet tray into the oven for about 20 minutes, until browned but not burned.

4. Place tofu in a blender or food processor and whip until smooth.

5. Transfer to a bowl and season with ponzu sauce, mirin, and soy sauce to taste.  If it needs some thinning out, can incorporate neutral oil for desired consistency.

6. Spoon whipped tofu on the plate. Then, remove the turnips from the pan and place into a bowl or on a plate and sprinkle the furikake or togarashi to garnish to taste. Serve right away, while hot.

Pair with: Martha Stoumen Post Flirtation White 

Martha Stoumen is a friend and renowned natural winemaker in California. 

“This is always a fun wine to make, as it marks the beginning of harvest in late August. First Generation Farmers is located outside of Oakley, Contra Costa County (affectionately CoCo). The weather and soils of CoCo are reminiscent of the Mediterranean, with a hot land mass, super duper sandy soils, and a near constant cooling wind coming off of the very cold salty waters of the Carquinez Strait.

The resulting wines are full of summer flavors, slightly salty, and extremely drinkable. After the CoCo fruit is co-fermented, we blend in some earlier season Colombard to illuminate the brightness of this wine. This old vine Colombard is versatile, as it maintains basically the same sugar level and acidity on the vine from August to November. When picked in late August it reminds me of a featherweight Basque txakoli (while our late season Colombard going into our Honeymoon has a more Chenin-like characteristics). Both components of this blend are fermented and aged in stainless steel.”


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