Grilled Abura-age

Abura-age (aburage, age) is a thinly sliced and deep fried tofu not confused with Atsu-age which is a deep fried whole tofu.  When a thinly sliced tofu is deep fried, it puffed up like a tofu pouch. Probably Inari-zushi is the most familiar example to you.  The brown sweet skin is the abura-age. Also it is a typical ingredient for a miso soup.

Abura-age is very flavorful since it is deep fried so small amount would add a good flavor to a dish.  I often add sliced abura-age to vegetable dishes, and it adds so much flavor. I think it can be a great substitution for meat products, and it is a very versatile useful ingredient that I always make sure to keep a few in my freezer (it lasts longer this way).

My favorite way to eat abura-age is just simply grill it over an open flame and pour some soy sauce while still hot so it absorb the sauce nicely.  I would serve it on top of steamy hot rice maybe with a sprinkle of ichimi, Japanese hot pepper. That is one of my favorite lunch when I am alone at home.

Soy sauce
Ichimi (Japanese red pepper)
Bowl of rice

Grill abura-age over an open flame or under a broiler. You could also grill on a hot cast iron pan with no oil.
When it is done, sprinkle some soy sauce over it.
Slice abura-age, and put on cooked rice or some other grain of your choice. Sprinkle some ichimi pepper if you would like.


I am originally from Japan and have been living in the US for about 20 years. Over the past 20 years I have traveled to many different parts of the world, seen different cultures, and tasted all kinds of interesting food. In between I studied anthropology, art and interior design. I currently live outside Boston and I teach cooking in continuing education programs and at home. I also take on freelance interior design projects. I hope you enjoy the blog! Yoko

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