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


Ebi to yurine-iri ganmodoki / deep-fried tofu patties with prawns and lily bulbs

Prawns and lily bulbs boost the flavor and texture of ganmodoki.


(About 20 ganmodoki)

3 momen firm tofu
1 egg
7-10 cm nagaimo Chinese yam
1/3 carrot
Very small handful hijiki seaweed
Handful (8-12) prawns
Tiny handful (10-15) yurine lily bulb pieces
Oil for deep-frying (canola oil, or a 4:1 or 7:3 mix of canola and sesame oil; not in photo)


If using dried yurine, rehydrate by soaking in water overnight.
Soak hijiki in water.


Place weight (a container with water, several plates, etc.) on tofu for 1 hour to get rid of excess water. Alternatively, microwave for several minutes and let sit on counter.


Remove discolored parts of yurine, and roughly cut into smaller pieces (thumbnail size or smaller).

Clean prawns with potato starch, and cut into matching size.


Skin and grind nagaimo in suribachi mortar.

Crumble tofu into suribachi, and mash.

Add egg, mash, and mix well.

Shave carrot with peeler directly into tofu mixture. Gently mix.

Add hijiki, and gently mix.

Add prawns and yurine, and gently mix.


Make patties.
Try not to have prawns or yurine exposed on the surface, as it tends to make patties break apart while deep-frying.


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

Slide patties into oil from the edge of 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 tempura and returns it to the pot.

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


Grated daikon radish, thinly sliced green onion and ponzu citrus soy sauce are shown in this serving example.

  • Egg can be omitted. Egg makes this dish somewhat rich.
  • If nagaimo is not available, add flour or potato starch to ensure the mixture stays together during deep-frying.
  • If fresh yurine is hard to find (usually more widely available in winter), dried yurine works great. It is available at Chinese grocery stores and Chinese herbal medicine shops (bulk sale available).

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