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


Warabi to ganmodoki no nimono / bracken and deep-fried tofu patties simmered in broth

A slightly strongly flavored comforting food of salt-preserved bracken and juicy tofu patties. It tastes good as is and also as part of a takiawase assortment of other simmered items.


(Serves 3-4)

Approx. 200 g salt-preserved warabi bracken (soaked in water to remove salt for 2 nights; 170 g in photo)
6 large or 10-12 small ganmodoki deep-fried tofu patties

For broth
500 cc dashi
100 cc sake
3 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce
1 tbsp regular soy sauce


Pour boiling water over ganmodoki to get rid of excess oil.


In a pot, put dashi, ganmodoki and sake, and bring to boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low or low, and simmer for 5 minutes.


Add brown sugar, mirin and both usukuchi and regular soy sauce, place an otoshibuta drop cover directly on top, and simmer for 20-25 minutes.


Meanwhile, cut warabi into 4-5 cm.


Add warabi, cover again, and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool (covered).

Heat up before serving.

  • If using ganmodoki from a vacuum pack, boil the patties instead of pouring boiling water, as their oil is more persistent and tends to leave a smell if not thoroughly removed.
  • Atsuage deep-fried tofu is a good substitute for ganmodoki.
  • Warabi in particular takes on full flavor in the cooling and reheating process. If you cannot wait, serve only some ganmodoki the first time, and serve warabi and remaining ganmodoki the next time (the following day, for example).
  • Warabi can be tied in a few places and cooked full length; cut into short lengths before serving, as this makes it easier to present the warabi in a neat stack in bowls at the table.
  • Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge.
  • This was part of the takiawase assortment of simmered items for our 2013 osechi New Year’s Day food. Small ganmodoki were paired with softly sweet and spongy koyadofu freeze-dried tofu, gingery carrot, sweet hoshi-shiitake dried shiitake mushrooms and crispy snow peas. The combination offered contrasting textures, flavors and aromas, and everything worked in harmony.
  • If making this for osechi to serve on New Year’s Day, prepare it on December 30th or 31st and keep refrigerated. This, in turn, would mean that you need to start desalination of warabi on the 28th or 29th.  Plan ahead.

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