Deep-Fried Tofu Cake


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes:


Appears in

Japanese Food Made Easy

Japanese Food Made Easy

By Aya Nishimura

Published 2020

  • About
Preparation: 15 Minutes, Plus 2–8 Hours Standing
Cooking: 15 Minutes

In Japan, we have specialised tofu shops where you can buy fresh tofu in water, which is similar to buying freshly made mozzarella from a proper Italian deli.



  • 680 g (1 lb 8 oz) firm tofu
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 40 g ( oz) carrots, cut into thin matchsticks
  • 40 g ( oz) snow peas (mangetout), thinly sliced
  • freshly grated ginger, to serve


  • 20 g (¾ oz) dried shiitake mushrooms, or 40 g ( oz) fresh shiitake, stalks removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • a large pinch of sea salt
  • 3 cups (750 ml) sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • soy sauce, to serve


Place the tofu on a baking tray and top with another tray with a 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) weight on top. Leave it for 2 hours, or even overnight, to press out the excess water.

If you are using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them in a bowl of hot water for 1 hour, then drain. Thinly slice the soaked or fresh mushrooms, discarding the stalks.

Place the tofu in a food processor with the sake, eggs and salt and blend until very smooth.

Tip the tofu mixture into a bowl and add the mushrooms, carrot and snow peas. Combine well and then shape the mixture into 10 rounded patties.

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. When it reaches 180°C (350°F), carefully slide the patties into the oil. Cook two or three patties at a time for 3 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown.

Remove the patties from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on paper towel to drain. Serve with a dash of soy sauce and some grated ginger.