Shortcut Abura Age (for Inari sushi)

Abura age are fried tofu pockets that are availalbe at Aisan/Japanese stores.  They are probably the easiest introduction to tofu because of their mild flavor and they have a great chewey texture (not at all like normal block tofu). 

On their own, they are pretty bland.  But when soaked with soy sauce or other flavor they can be quite zesty! 

You can fill the prepared pockets with sushi rice for inari sushi. Inari sushi would be a great party snack as they are universally delicious (people are sometimes scared of nori seaweed but inari are just pillows of rice and even kids like 'em).

Or you can cut these into strips and add to a soba salad.  Or fill with your own fillings, like diced veggies etc.

This is the "cheater" shortcut method.  For full "real Japanese" method, see this post.  For a super fast method, don't heat the abura age; after rinsing off the oil with boiling water, pour the seasonings in and let it soak it up.

Abura Age Preparation:
Heat 1.5-2 cups water in a teakettle. Place 5-7 abura age (fried tofu pockets) in a heat proof bowl.  Pour boiling water over the abura age and stir a little to get the oil off the tofu. 

Let it cool a little so you don't burn yourself.  Drain and press extra water out.

Cut abura age into halves. Use your fingers to separate it like a pita pocket. 

Heat a wide saucepan to medium hot.  Toast abura age in hot pan for 30-60 seconds.  Then pour in:
2 tea sake
2 tea sugar
4.5 tea soy sauce

Stir around until abura age has soaked up all the sauce.  Turn off heat.

Now you are ready to use abura age! 

Or store in the fridge for 4 days.

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