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


Warabi to age no nimono / bracken and thin deep-fried tofu in broth

A low-key side dish that brings back memories of the old days. This time prepared with salted preserved bracken, and this dish has a contrasting texture of soft deep-fried tofu and crunchy bracken.


150 g salt-preserved warabi bracken (soaked 1-2 days to remove salt)
2 small or 1 large usuage thin deep-fried tofu
100cc dashi
1 tbsp & 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal parts)
1/2 tsp brown sugar
Salt to taste (not in photo)


Prep-boil usuage to get rid of excess oil.
Drain, and squeeze out water.


Slice usuage into strips 1-2 cm wide.
Cut warabi into 3-4 cm.


In a pot, put dashi, brown sugar, soy sauce, sake and mirin, and bring to boil.
Add usuage, and simmer on medium low heat for 5 minutes.


Add warabi, continue simmering for another 5-10 minutes until liquid is reduced to half or one-third, while occasionally turning. 

Turn off heat, and let cool.  
Warabi absorbs flavor while cooling.

If in a hurry, taste, and add salt as necessary.
If you have time to let it cool and reheat, adjust flavor after reheating.

  • Eliminating the salt from preserved warabi takes time (soak for 1-2 days, changing water occasionally).
  • This tastes better the next day, and keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
  • When using fresh bracken (prep-cooked), ingredients are the same, but use slightly less dashi (60 cc/4 tbsp should be enough). Because fresh bracken gets soft and mushy quite quickly, cook usuage 2-3 minutes, and add warabi, simmer 2 minutes, turn off heat, and let cool. This also tastes better the next day.

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