Prep 20 mins
Cook 10 mins
From Elizabeth Andoh's classic "At Home With Japanese Cooking". The patties are delicious freshly fried and garnished with some grated radish or ginger and a tiny bit of soy sauce, or even more delicious simmered in seasoned stock. Use whatever vegetables you have: carrot, burdock root, lotus root, shiitake or other mushrooms, boiled bamboo shoots, or whatever you can think up. Fried patties may be frozen for up to 1 month, or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. Serve as a side dish with rice, miso soup and a salad. Prep time does not include pressing tofu. For vegan version, substitute 2-3 tsp. glutinous yam (yama imo), peeled and grated, for the egg white.
- 1 1⁄2-2 cakes tofu, about 3/4 lb
- 1⁄4-1⁄3 cup very finely chopped vegetables
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon dry-roasted black sesame seed
- 1 pinch salt
- 1⁄2-2 teaspoon egg white (for non-vegans)
- vegetable oil (for deep frying)
- 2 cups dashi (basic Japanese soup stock, OR 2 c. liquid from soaking dried mushrooms, OR a combination of the two)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon sake
- Drain the bean curd and wrap it tightly in a clean kitchen towel. Place it on a flat surface that will hold water and place a light weight on top. Let it drain for at least 3-4 hours and up to 12 hours. Remove the pressed curd to a dry towel and gather up the edges of the towel to form a bag and gently squeeze it, mashing the curd as you do so.
- Empty the mashed tofu into a bowl and add the chopped vegetables and sesame seeds. Hand mix well and knead for a few minutes. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the mixture and mix it in, then add the egg white or glutinous yam to bind it all together. Continue to knead for another minute or so, then lightly oil your hands and form into 12 patties.
- Heat the oil to 300-325 degrees and deep fry the patties in batches for 2-3 minutes or until they float on the surface, well puffed. Flip them over and continue to fry another few minutes until golden. Drain patties well on a rack or paper towels. Combine the simmering stock ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is melted. Add the fried patties and lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer. For best results, simmer with a Japanese dropped lid, or turn the patties several times so that all surfaces have a chance to absorb the seasoned stock. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until the stock has been reduced by half. Serve warm or at room temperature, with a bit of stock ladled over the patties.
- Note: Handling glutinous yam may irritate your skin, so wear gloves when peeling and grating and use a spoon for mixing.