Ganmodoki With Simmered Vegetables
Deep fried tofu? Yes please! These little tofu nuggets are a versatile dish with a surprising amount of flavor! Made completely out of vegetables in the tradition of shojin ryoyi, or buddhist temple cuisine, these traditional tofu fritters are so flavorful, you might just forget they’re meat free!
- firm tofu (1 block)
- dried shitake mushrooms (1/4 cup)
- dried wakame seaweed (small handful)
- salt (1/2 teaspoon)
- cornstarch, or flour (2 tablespoons, plus extra for dusting)
- ginger (1 inch)
- sake (3 tablespoons)
- mirin (1/4 cup)
- soy sauce (1/4 cup)
- vegetarian dashi (1/2 cup)
- carrot (1)
- green onion (2)
Remove as much water as you can from the tofu by slicing it into several blocks and wrapping it in a paper towel for 15 minutes.
To remove the water faster, place a weight on top of the tofu to help the water squeeze out. While the tofu is draining place the dried mushrooms in water to soften.
Once the tofu has drained, use your hands to crumble the tofu into tiny pieces, the smaller the better!
Mix in the dried seaweed, crumbled up as small as you can make it, as well as the salt, ginger and cornstarch. (You can soak the seaweed ahead of time and then mix it in, but it absorbs water so quickly I find it easier to let it soak up water while being mixed in the tofu. It also helps pull out a little bit more water from the tofu itself, so it’s up to you if you want to pre soak it!)
Taking a small handful at a time, shape the tofu into small balls. I find it easier to shape them by pressing them into a spoon, making sure to sqeeze them firmly to keep their shape. If they aren’t shaped tightly enough, the balls may fall apart while frying!
Once the balls have been formed, roll them around in a little extra cornstarch to create an extra coating to help with frying and give them a nice crunch.
Heat the frying oil in a small pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add a few balls at at time and fry until golden brown, which will take about 5 minutes.
Once golden, remove the balls from the oil and set on some paper towels to drain.
To prepare the vegetables, add the mushrooms, carrot, sake, mirin, soy sauce, and dashi in a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Let simmer for 5 minutes until the carrots are softened.
Once the sauce is ready its ready its ready to serve! Arrange the ganmodoki on a small plate and ladle the sauce and vegetables on top. For added flavor, garnish with sliced green onion or shredded nori.
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