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


Fubaagu no shisomaki / small gluten cake burgers wrapped with perilla leaves

Tasty small burgers made with fu gluten cakes, an important source of protein in temple vegan dishes for more than a century! Gobo burdock root and eringi king oyster mushroom add a nice depth to the taste and some crunchiness to the texture, helping to create a mild and light yet quite substantial dish. Make extra or save some for bento lunch the next day. 

1/2 of recipe:
181 calories; 11.6 g protein; 5.9 g fat; 19.6g carbohydrate; 16.5 g net carbs; 204 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 321 mg with regular soy sauce); 107 mg cholesterol; 3.1 g fiber

1/3 of recipe:
121 calories; 7.3 g protein; 3.9 g fat; 15.7 g carbohydrate; 13.6 g net carbs; 136 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 214 mg with regular soy sauce); 71 mg cholesterol; 2.1 g fiber


(makes 6 shisomaki; serves 2-3)
40-50 g fu/yakifu baked gluten cake (40g kurumabu doughnut-shaped baked gluten cakes in photo)
1/4 medium onion (52 g in photo)
1 medium or 2 small eringi king oyster mushrooms (36 g in photo)
15cm gobo burdock root (46 g in photo)
4 tbsp additive-free tonyu soy milk
1 egg (or nagaimo Chinese yam for vegans)
6 shiso perilla leaves
1/2 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste

Flour (to dust shiso leaf surface; not in photo)

1 tsp oil (for pan-frying; not in photo)
1/2 lemon (to serve with fu burgers)


Crush fu by hand, potato masher or food processor.

Some small chunks or bits are fine.


Finely chop onion and eringi.
Lightly beat egg.
Grate ginger.
Peel or scrape off skin of gobo, and cut in half lengthwise if thick.


Microwave gobo for 30 seconds, then uncover to let out hot air.

When cool to the touch, finely chop.


Add onion, eringi, egg and soy milk to crushed fu, and mix well.

Add shiokoji, soy sauce and ginger juice, and mix well.
(If mixture looks very dry, add more soy milk.)

When gobo completely cools (at least to room temperature), add to fu mixture.
Add black pepper, cover, and let sit in fridge for 20-30 minutes.


When ready to assemble, dust shiny (top/front) side of each shiso leaf with flour.
Divide fu mixture into 6, form balls, and place one on each shiso leaf.

Fold shiso leaf over fu mixture ball, and flatten ball to 2cm thick.


Heat oil in frying-pan, and saute fu burgers on medium to medium low heat for 4-5 minutes.
Flip, cover, and cook on medium low or lower heat for another 4-5 minutes.


Serve hot with lemon wedge.

  • You can also put fu in a plastic bag and smash it with a rolling pin. A good way to release your stress!!
  • Black pepper and ginger work as magic spices in this recipe. To counter the mild flavor of other key ingredients, use more black pepper and ginger than you would usually use.
  • If tonyu soy milk is not at hand, milk works fine. When milk is used, sodium content goes up somewhat (by 11-17 mg per serving).
  • This dish may taste a bit weak for those who like strong-flavored food. In that case, start the recipe with 2 tsp soy sauce as a test. Or, reduce the amount of soy sauce to 1 tsp, and serve the dish with ponzujoyu citrus-flavored soy sauce diluted with dashi (equal parts or with more dashi) or dashijoyu (soy sauce diluted with equal part or more dashi).
  • When more soy sauce is added, this dish starts to taste meaty. (Fu often is used to create mock-meat dishes.)
  • Instead of gobo burdock root, renkon lotus root and jicama -- something with crunch -- work well with this recipe. When using renkon or jicama, it does not need to be microwaved first before adding to the fu mixture.
  • Shisomaki [lit. perilla leaf-wrapped] is a common way of using shiso perilla leaves in summer. Items to wrap range from vegetables to meat and seafood, and can be pan-fried as above or deep-fried (tempura, panko-fry, suage deep-fry without batter). Umeboshi pickled plum flesh is often added inside shiso leaf wrappers as an accent, especially when wrapping meat.
  • Among fu or yakifu baked gluten cakes, the kurumabu above is on the higher end in terms of sodium content (110 mg per 100 g kurumabu). Chikuwabu, a small, thick doughnut shaped gluten cake, is virtually sodium-free (1mg per 100 g chikuwabu). When chikuwabu is used in this recipe, sodium content goes down by 14-21 mg per serving (1/3 of recipe, 1/2 of recipe, respectively).

No comments: