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


Kyuri to atsuage no pirikaraae / Japanese cucumber and deep-fried tofu with ginger and spicy soy sauce

Juicy, crispy, and substantial. Ginger stimulates the appetite in hot weather.

109 calories (1/2 of recipe); 7.6 g protein; 7.3 g fat; 2.6 g carbohydrate; 1.6 g net carbs; 155 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 235 mg with regular soy sauce); 0 mg cholesterol; 1.0 g fiber


1 atsuage deep-fried tofu (130 g in photo)
1/2 kyuri Japanese cucumber (75 g in photo)
1 knob ginger
1 tsp sake
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp tobanjan, chili paste or garlic chili sauce


Pour boiling water on atsuage (or prep-boil if atsuage comes in vacuum pack) to get rid of excess oil.


Grill (fry without oil).


Diagonally dice cucumber, and julienne ginger.


When atsuage cools somewhat, break into bite-size pieces with spoon.


Add cucumber, ginger, sake, tobanjan and less than specified amount of soy sauce, and mix well.

Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, taste, and add more soy sauce if necessary.

  • Grilling/frying atsuage in Process 2 is to achieve a crispy surface, and is optional.
  • For an even crunchier texture for atsuage, make your own deep-fried tofu.
  • Use English cucumber if Japanese cucumber is not available. English cucumbers from stores tend to have a soft core loaded with seeds. If that’s the case, first cut lengthwise and remove the seed section to maintain crispiness.
  • Toasted white sesame seeds are a nice addition.

(Last updated: September 16, 2015)

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