Fried Tofu Turns Frozen Seafood Into Savory Fare

Fried tofu turns frozen seafood into savory fareA bag of frozen seafood is a handy ingredient to add variety to the menu, especially for stir-fry or pilaf.
Yoko Munakata of the Better Home Association incorporates it into a Japanese dish that goes well with rice. She says the fishy smell, if any, comes from the water that emerges when the seafood is thawed.

“By stir-frying it frozen with sake, we can thaw it quickly and drain the water,” she says.

Coating the seafood with starch also keeps the water inside and retains its umami and softness. Cloud ear mushroom may be replaced with fresh shiitake mushroom. Serves four.


300 grams thick deep-fried tofu (“atsuage”) of “kinu” variety

50 grams carrot

50 grams podded pea (“saya-endo”)

4 to 5 dry cloud ear mushroom (“kikurage”)

10 cm (20 grams) green onion

200 grams frozen mixed seafood

1 Tbsp sake

1 tsp katakuriko starch

Seasoning A (1/2 Tbsp sugar, 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sweet mirin sake, 2 Tbsp water)

1/2 Tbsp sesame oil


Tear deep-fried tofu up with hands into appropriate-sized pieces so seasoning can coat uneven surface. Reconstitute cloud ear mushroom.

Cut carrot into 1-mm thick rectangles. Remove string from pea and cut in half if large. Remove hard end of cloud ear mushroom and cut into bite-size pieces. Chop green onion.

Add seafood and sake to frying pan and place over medium heat. Stir-fry until color changes slightly. Do not overcook. Place on sieve and drain water.

Heat sesame oil in pan, and stir-fry vegetables over medium heat. When the vegetables are somewhat soft, add deep-fried tofu, Seasoning A and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Dust seafood with starch and add to pan. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Estimated time to prepare: 15 minutes (10 minutes to prepare, 5 minutes to stir-fry and simmer)

Nutritional information per serving: kilocalories, 195; sodium content, 1.4 grams; fat content, 10.4 grams