Crispy fried, golden brown and delicious, Ganmodoki are a great make-ahead entree or satisfying main. These Japanese tofu patties are naturally vegan and vegetarian friendly, serve them with your favourite dipping sauces for a quick, easy and nutritious meal!
Why We Love This
Like most Japanese foods, ganmodoki are deliciously filling without making you feel heavy or bloated after.
They’re super easy to make and adaptable to suit your tastes or whatever veggies you have on hand. Use our base recipe as is, or amp them up with our variation ideas below for extra flavour or crunch.
What is Ganmodoki?
Ganmodoki (がんもどき, also sometimes known as hiryōzu) are a type of Japanese tofu patty made from firm tofu, vegetables and Japanese seasonings.
With a texture like a cross between a fritter and a dumpling, they’re usually deep fried but can also be simmered in broth, or added to nabemono hot pots like oden.
What You’ll Need
1. Firm Tofu – Traditionally this dish is made with cotton tofu, named for the fluffy texture of the curds. It’s sometimes labelled as firm tofu, extra firm tofu or firm block tofu. See this guide to shopping for tofu if you’re unsure.
2. Potato Starch – Sub with cornstarch. The starch helps to bind the patties and give them their extra crispy outsides once fried.
3. Egg – (Optional – omit for vegan version) This helps bind the ingredients together.
4. Sugar – Any sugar you have on hand will do. Sub with mirin if you like, or leave it out.
5. Soy Sauce – Regular soy sauce or tamari is fine.
6. Vegetables – We use grated carrot, sliced spring onion and finely chopped mushroom (such as enoki, shiitake, oyster or regular button mushrooms). You can also make them with grated burdock, lotus root, edamame beans or shiso leaves if you have them on hand.
7. Vegetable Oil – Choose one with a neutral flavour and high smoke point for frying, such as canola oil.
▢450 g firm tofu
▢3 tbsp potato starch sub cornstarch
▢1 tbsp sugar sub mirin
▢1 tbsp soy sauce sub tamari
▢½ carrot grated
▢1-2 spring onion / green onion sliced thinly, sub with 1 tbsp dried hijiki seaweed
▢¼ cup mushroom chopped small, white button, enoki, shiitake or oyster mushrooms work well
▢vegetable oil for frying, sub with mentsuyu broth if simmering instead
Other optional fillings:
▢1 egg omit for vegan version
▢¼ cup burdock root grated or sliced sasagaki style
▢2-3 shiso leaves sliced thinly, sub with spinach
▢¼ cup edamame beans
Dipping sauce, to serve:
▢¼ cup soy sauce
▢½ tsp fresh ginger grated
Metric – US Customary
450 g firm tofu
Meanwhile make the dipping sauce to allow the flavours to infuse. Pour the soy sauce into a small dish, add in the freshly grated ginger and give it a quick stir.
½ tsp fresh ginger,¼ cup soy sauce
Drain any extra liquid from the tofu and pat it dry with a paper towel.
Break the tofu up with your hands into coarse lumps. Pulse in a food processor for 10-20 seconds to break it down into a finer texture. Note: Before processing, you’ll notice the tofu clumps don’t stick together, but after processing when you press down with a spoon it should hold, making it easier for you to shape into patties.
In a large mixing bowl add the processed tofu, potato starch, sugar, soy sauce, carrot, spring onion and mushroom (plus any other optional fillings like egg, burdock root, shiso leaves or edamame). Mix until well combined.
3 tbsp potato starch,1 tbsp sugar,1 tbsp soy sauce,½ carrot,1-2 spring onion / green onion,¼ cup mushroom,¼ cup burdock root,2-3 shiso leaves,¼ cup edamame beans,1 egg
Now it’s time to shape those tofu patties! We find a large, heaped spoonful of mixture is a good amount to make a patty just smaller than the size of your palm. Flatten out into a small disc, neaten up the edges and place them on a plate ready to cook.
In a deep pot or frying pan, add a thin layer of vegetable oil until the bottom is covered and crank it to a high heat. Note: We like to shallow fry this way, alternatively you can deep fry them OR baste them with oil and pop them in your air fryer!
Once the oil is hot, gently place in your ganmodoki. Don’t overcrowd the pan, and cook in batches if necessary to keep your oil nice and hot! Cook for a few minutes per side until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on a plate lined with paper towel to soak out any extra oil.
Serve immediately with your soy and ginger dipping sauce, and enjoy!