All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Ganmodoki / deep-fried tofu patties

Home-made ganmodoki tofu patties are heavenly soft and flavorful.

When 10 patties are made:
141 calories (1 ganmodoki); 8.1 g protein; 12.0 g fat; 4.7 g carbohydrate; 1.3 g net carbs; 29 mg sodium; 214 mg cholesterol; 3.4 g fiber

When 12 patties are made:
107 calories (1 ganmodoki); 6.8 g protein; 10.0 g fat; 3.9 g carbohydrate; 1.1 g net carbs; 24 mg sodium; 18 mg cholesterol; 2.8 g fiber


(10-12 ganmodoki)

2 momen firm tofu (880 g in photo)
1 egg
3-5 cm nagaimo Chinese yam (100 g in photo)
1/5-1/4 medium carrot
2 tsp hijiki seaweed
Oil for deep-frying (70-80% canola oil, 20-30% sesame oil; not in photo)


Place weight (a container with water, several plates, etc.) on tofu for 30+ minutes to get rid of excess water. Alternatively, place tofu zaru flat strainer (without weight) for 30+ minutes, or microwave for several minutes and let sit on counter.
Soak hijiki in water for 20-30 minutes.
Shave carrot with a peeler, and cut into 2-3cm pieces.


Skin and grate nagaimo.
(Can be grated against suribachi mortar surface as in photo).

Crumble in tofu in suribachi, and mash.

Add egg, mash and mix well.

Add hijiki and carrot, and gently mix.


Make patties.


Deep-fry ganmodoki patties.

Heat oil (about 5 cm deep) in a pot or pan. Put dry chopsticks in oil. When tiny bubbles pop out from chopsticks, oil is at the right temperature.

Gently put ganmodoki balls in oil, sliding in from the edge of the pot or pan, and fry on medium heat.

Turn and cook both sides.

When almost done, raise heat slightly, and hold pieces to be removed with one end still immersed in oil. This draws out oil in the ganmodoki patties and returns it to oil in pot.

Lift from oil, lightly shake, and place in a drain pan lined with paper towel.


Serve hot with soy sauce and karashi mustard.

  • Egg can be omitted. (This is a common temple/vegan dish.) Egg makes this dish somewhat rich, and not using it results in a cleaner taste.
  • If nagaimo is not available, add flour or potato starch to ensure the mixture stays together during deep-frying.
  • This is a super basic recipe. Hijiki can be eliminated if not available or not liked. Anything can be added. Check what's available in the fridge. Make sure ingredients are cut small enough to cook while deep-frying. If larger pieces are used, they may require prep-cooking and flavoring before mixing in tofu.
  • This freezes well. If you plan to freeze ganmodoki, make sure not to use previously frozen ingredients.

(Last updated: January 28, 2016)

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