Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Ganmo: Recipe

To call ganmo the "Japanese tofu burger" will give you some idea of what it's like, but also does it some injustice. Like almost all foods Japanese, it's a delicate balance of flavors built on centuries of tradition. ("Ganmo" is also the name of a Japanese anime character. Logically enough, it's an egg-shaped chicken.)

No matter what you end up calling these little bites, you'll definitely think they're totally delicious.


12-16 oz tofu
1/2 cup ground vegetables: A mixture of carrot, shitake mushrooms, bamboo shoot, burdock or lotus root is traditional. But feel free to experiment with potato, beet, celery, spinach, etc. (Grind or grate them well in a food processor)

1 Tbsp sesame seeds, preferably black

Salt to taste

Glutinous yam or 1 egg white or vegan egg white substitute

1. Press the tofu between two plates with a weight on top for about an hour.

2. In a large bowl, break up the tofu with a fork (or better yet: knead it with your hands) until it is totally ground up.

3. Add the vegetables and black sesame seeds and continue kneading for a minute or two.

4. Peel and grate the yam into your tofu mixture. It will be pretty goopy, but it acts as a binder. Alternately, add your egg white or vegan egg white substitute. Mix well. The mixture should be bound together and you should be able to form it into balls and patties. If it seems wet or loose, add more binder and/or some rice flour until it holds together well.

5. Form into1.5 to 2 inch patties just under 0.5 inch thick.

6. Pan fry or deep fry in oil at about 320 degrees until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with green onions and soy sauce as part of a Japanese meal or else just as you would tofu burgers.


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