Editor's note: January is Vegetable Month on Serious Eats: New York! Every day this month we'll introduce you to a different vegetable dish we love. Do you have a veg dish to nominate? Let us know!
The Shira-ae ($5) under Hibino's "tofu" section of the menu looks like a big mass of green, which it is, but it's a little more nuanced than that. The chefs at this cozy, Kyoto-style Japanese corner spot simmer the greens in a dashi broth just long enough for the veggies to absorb its light, clean flavor while remaining crisp.
The broccoli, asparagus, snow peas, sugar peas, and okra aren't overly salted, overly oiled, or overly fussed. Just fresh-tasting and simple. It's a plate you'll return to between obanzai, the daily-changing small plates (check out the chalkboard). Dip the greens in the blob of tofu sauce on the side. It's their tofu, made in-house each day, whipped up with a little soy sauce and sugar.
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