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


Atsuage no guriru, yasai ankake / grilled deep-fried tofu with thickened vegetable sauce

An, sauce thickened with potato starch, quickly transforms atsuage into a more satisfying dish with a mild flavor. 


2 atsuage deep-fried tofu

For yasai an thickened vegetable sauce
1/4-1/3 carrot
1 green onion
3 shishito sweet peppers
Small handful shimeji mushrooms
100 cc dashi
2 tbsp sake
1/2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp potato starch, mixed with same amount of cold water


Prep-boil or pour boiling water over atsuage.

Pat dry atsuage, and grill.


Julienne all vegetables, and tear mushrooms into smaller sections.


In a pot, add dashi, sake and mirin, and bring to boil.
Add carrot and shimeji, cover, and simmer on medium low heat until shimeji becomes somewhat translucent.

Add shishito and green onion.
When vegetables are done, add soy sauce, and cook for 1-2 minutes.


Swirl in potato starch + water mixture, and cook for 1 minute.


Cut atsuage into 4-6, serve on individual plates or in bowls, and pour vegetable sauce.

  • The atsuage sold in Japan today is not as greasy as it used to be, and prep-boiling or pouring boiling water is unnecessary. Outside Japan, boiling is recommended for atsuage in vacuum packs. If you can find freshly made atsuage (or when you make your own), pouring boiling water is usually sufficient.
  • Atsuage can be cooked in a frying pan without oil.
  • Any vegetable works. Combine vegetables of different colors, and include something green to enliven this dish.
  • Whether or not to cover the pot while cooking vegetables depends on ingredients. Julienned vegetables (even carrots) cook quickly, and covering is normally unnecessary. I covered the pot at first because of the shimeji mushrooms.
  • When adding potato starch + water mixture, always mix it first, as potato starch tends to sink to the bottom.
  • Cooking an extra minute after adding potato starch + water mixture ensures a translucent, smooth sauce. When not cooked sufficiently, the sauce will look somewhat murky and taste powdery.
  • To add a refreshing note to the sauce, squeeze the juice of grated ginger (one knob) at the very end.
  • For a richer taste, saute vegetables with sesame oil first.
  • An is a thickened sauce (usually thickened with potato starch or kuzu), and ankake literally means an poured over; it is a type of dish that comes with an.

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