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


Atsuage to chingensai no kurozuan itame / deep-fried tofu and baby bok choy saute with thickened brown rice vinegar sauce

Kurozuan sauce, a variation of thickened sauce based on amazu sweetened rice vinegar, is made with kurozu brown rice vinegar. It has a rich aroma while offering a refreshing note, making this simple saute satisfying yet light.


1 atsuage deep-fried tofu
1 chingensai baby bok choy

For kurozuan thickened brown rice vinegar sauce
4 tbsp dashi
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp kurozu brown rice vinegar
1/2 tsp potato starch
1 pinch salt (not in photo)

1 tsp oil (for sauteing; not in photo)


Remove larger outer leaves of chingensai, separate white and green sections, and cut wide parts lengthwise into 2 or 3.
Cut the center part into 2-4.


Pour boiling water over atsuage and eliminate excess oil.
Dry with paper towel, and cut into small squares.


Mix all ingredients (including potato starch) for kurozuan, and set aside.


In a frying pan, heat oil, and saute atsuage on medium to medium low heat until surface becomes toasty.


Raise heat to medium high, add white sections of chingensai, and saute until somewhat translucent.
Add green sections of chingensai, and saute until color brightens.


Stir kurozuan ingredients well once again, and pour into frying pan.

Simmer while occasionally stirring, until liquid is reduced and thickened somewhat.
Ready to serve.

  • When made with Japanese-style atsuage, which is soft inside, this dish tastes very tender.
  • If only firm type deep-fried tofu is available, slightly stronger flavoring works better. Add a dab of oyster sauce for extra strength in the seasoning.
  • If you use regular rice vinegar and add a small amount of ketchup, this dish becomes something kids would like.
  • If mirin is not available, sugar can substitute. If using sugar, use slightly less than the amount of mirin above. 
  • Potato starch sinks to the bottom in the prep bowl; make sure to mix kurozuan ingredients before adding to hot frying pan.


Anonymous said...

So easy and tastes amazing!!

neco said...

Great to hear! Thank you for trying it.