Tofu Kabayaki | Savory Tofu Patties with Yamaimo

Tofu Kabayaki - Savory Tofu Patties with Yamaimo

Today we’re making tofu kabayaki. This tofu is a tasty alternative to the traditional unagi (eel) kabayaki. I’ll save the superlatives, but I can assure you that this will have you full and enjoying the full essence of the kabayaki experience in no time. Just as you would with regular kabayaki, you can add a bit of sansho pepper for a little kick. This is a simple preparation that may satiate and even impress the most experienced tofu eaters of the universe.



for the kabayaki tare (sauce)

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp sugar

for the tofu kabayaki

  • 16 oz block firm Tofu (450 grams)
  • 1/4 cup yamaimo grated (6070 grams)
  • 2 sheets nori (dried seaweed)
  • dash salt (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon katakuriko (potato starch, alternatively corn starch )
  • extra-virgin olive oil (for frying and or sesame oil (optional))


For the kabayaki tare

  1. First measure out all ingredients for the sauce and combine in a sauce pan.
  2. On medium heat bring to a simmer and allow to reduce, until it gets slightly thick 7-10 min. If you want it thicker or more concentrated cook 3-5 minutes longer, but watch closely.
  3. While the sauce is cooking, prepare the other ingredients.

For the tofu kabayaki

  1. In a medium sauce pan, boil water and add the tofu broken into small pieces. Boil for 4-5 minutes to remove the water.
  2. Peel and grate the yamaimo and add to a food processor along with cornstarch and a dash of salt.
  3. After the tofu has cooked for about 5 minutes, drain and allow to cool. You can run cold water over it to expedite.
  4. Once cooled, add tofu to food processor and blend until thoroughly combined.
  5. Lay out a piece of nori and use an oil coated spatula to spread the tofu mixture over in a 1/4-1/2in thick layer.
  6. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and once it starts shimmering, add in tofu pieces nori side up and allow to cook 2-3 minutes, until slightly browned.
  7. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil.
  8. Serve over warm white rice and drizzle/brush the sauce over with a few sprinkles of sansho pepper.


Optional: for additional texture, sprinkle katakuriko on both sides of the tofu nori sheets before frying

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