James Bond food tofu rice

Bean curd and rice

You Only Live Twice (1964) sees James Bond embedded in a Japanese fishing village as he prepares to infiltrate Blofeld’s castle. Bond’s food here is simple home-cooked fare, with bean curd (better known as tofu) and rice being the staple diet. The only embellishment is a beaten egg, added by Kissy Suzuki as a rare treat. My recipe adapts a contemporaneous dish in Cooking the Japanese Way (Spring Books, 1963) by Nina Froud. Aji-no-moto or monosodium glutamate is obtainable from online retailers or Asian supermarkets. Tofu of the sort cooked here has something of the texture and appearance of scrambled eggs, which must have been reassuring to Bond.

Recipe (serves two)

For the rice

  • 200g sushi rice
  • 300ml water

For the tofu

  • 300g block of silken tofu
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 1 small to medium carrot
  • 1 tsp finely-chopped parsley, plus a little extra for a garnish
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • A pinch of aji-no-moto
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

Wash the rice thoroughly. Put the rice in a saucepan, pour in the water, cover the pan with a lid and place over a high heat. Bring the water to the boil, turn the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 10 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the rice to rest (keeping the lid on) for another 10 minutes.

While the rice is resting, trim and chop the spring onions, peel and finely slice the carrot and drain the tofu. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Put the onion and carrot in the pan and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the tofu. Stir to combine the tofu with the vegetables. Add the soy sauce, aji-no-moto, sugar, parsley and pepper. Continue stirring for another 2 to 3 minutes until the ingredients are well combined and heated through. (If desired, add a beaten egg after adding the tofu.)

To serve, spoon a portion of rice into a bowl and pile the tofu mixture on top. Sprinkle a little parsley to garnish.

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