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Japanese inspired tofu fritters

For anyone of a vegetarian or vegan bent in search of some interesting new ingredients, I can heartily recommend Japan Centre. It does pretty much what it says on the tin - sells more Japanese food than you can shake a stick at.

It's particularly good if you're craving a sushi binge or you're looking for some cracking tofu. It also gets a massive thumbs up from this quarter for selling umeshu - plum wine - which is pretty much as close to alcoholic heaven as you can get. Especially after three of them.

As well as giving you a chance to pick up a new bento box or a noodle roll (yep, noodles in a roll) it's obviously the place to go for your classic Japanese goodies, like soy sauce and mirin.

After wandering in for some dumpling wrappers and coming out having spent £20, I came up with this little recipe.

Japanese-inspired tofu fritters


1 250g pack of tofu (I used Cauldron here), grated
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and sliced thinly
5 spring onions, chopped finely
One carrot, grated
3 dessertspoons of soy sauce
3 dessertspoons of mirin, chopped finely
3 shiso leaves*
50g cornflour
Sesame oil

How you do it

Put the grated carrot in the centre of a clean tea towel, gather the four corners and twist so the carrot is in a bulb at the bottom. Keep wringing the tea towel in order to extract water from the carrot.

Combine the tofu, carrot, mushroom, spring onions, soy sauce, mirin, shiso leaves, and cornflour. Mix well.

If the mix feels damp, add a little more cornflour.

Leave to refrigerate for half an hour.

Warm some sesame oil in a frying pan. Take out a handful of the refrigerated mix, form into a small ball and pat down to make a small fritter. Repeat til all the mix is used up.

Fry the fritters on one side until brown, then flip over. Serve with a glass of umeshu or two.

*If you're not familiar with shiso leaves, they're the two green scamps pictured with the fritter. You can pick them up, needless to say, at Japan Centre.

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