Grind the roasted sesame seeds in a mortar for about 30 minutes until the oil is released and the texture becomes smooth.
Add the katakuriko to the mortar, then gradually add a little water at a time to dilute the mixture.
Transfer the liquid from the mortar to a pot, then heat over high heat. Continuously stir with a wooden spatula, reduce heat when it begins to thicken, then continue to stir until the mixture becomes shiny.
Wet the inside of a mold, then pour in the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and chill to set.
Serve with sauce to taste. This dish is typically served with dashi soy sauce and wasabi. It also tastes great with "kuromitsu" (black sugar syrup).
Story Behind this Recipe
At Zen temples, part of the training includes the preparation of Shojin Ryori, or vegan Buddhist cuisine. There is one monk who said, "After making sesame tofu every day for several decades, I finally know what Shojin Ryori is." It's deep. I recommend taking the time to prepare this like a monk in training Especially since it comes with a delicious reward!
Turn off the TV or radio, empty your mind, and put your heart into grinding the sesame seeds.
It's more authentic if you use kudzu powder, but since I've never used it, I don't know the difference. It's good enough with katakuriko...at least for a low-budget person like me.