Aburaage is a type of deep fried tofu most popularly used in inari sushi and as a topping/side in noodle dishes. It absorbs liquid readily like a sponge and much like tofu, it takes on flavour very easily. That makes it is a versatile and delicious ingredient. I personally love it 🙂
Aburaage comes in rectangular pieces, which you cut lengthwise into half to get squares. This recipe makes 10 seasoned aburaage squares, which can then be used traditionally, such as in inari sushi or kitsune udon (recipe), and non-traditionally, like a compliment to rice, congee, noodles or soup.
Actually, you can just eat it however way you want :p
The sweetness of the rice syrup compliments the saltiness of the soy sauce pretty well, and you’ll find that sweet and salty goes together pretty often in Japanese cuisine! And to impart some umami goodness, you’ll need dashi (recipe), which is essentially kelp stock. You can buy instant dashi, but there’s an easy recipe for it here, so there’s no need to look further 😉
It’s also worth noting that there is a Chinese equivalent of aburaage, called 豆泡 (dou pao), or tofu puffs. This is actually what I normally use when making this recipe, simply because this is a lot easier to get over here. They are both very similar in taste and texture, and unless you are an expert at Japanese food, I doubt you would notice the difference. I’m all about efficiency and maximising value, so in my opinion, it doesn’t really matter whether you use the Japanese version (aburaage) or the Chinese version (dou pao). Just use whichever is cheaper and/or easier to get!
At this point, I can imagine some Japanese chef grimacing at my advice somewhere. But hey, this blog has the word “lazy” in it for a reason, so…deal with it :p
From the bottom of my heart, I really love this dish. I love that you can easily take it out of the fridge and use it whenever you want without much hassle. Plus this is easy, cheap, and fast to make. On top of being delicious, of course. 😉 You won’t regret this, so give it a shot and let me know how it turns out for you!
Recipe links for ingredients: Recipe for Dashi
Vegan + Gluten Free + Low Carb + No Onion No Garlic
Seasoned Aburaage (Fried Tofu Pouches)
Boil the aburaage in hot water for about two minutes to rid them of excess oil.
Pour the aburaage into a colander and rinse it with some cool/room temperature water.
Squeeze out any excess water from the aburaage with your hands (do this carefully as the water inside the pouches may still be relatively hot), and if you find it still too oily, you may pat the aburaage with some paper towels.
Now combine all the ingredients into a pot and let it boil until most of the liquid has evaporated off. There should still be about 1 to 2 tablespoons of liquid left without squeezing anything out from the tofu pouches.