Freeze-Dried Stir-Fried Tofu

This Japanese recipe can be quickly prepared with pantry-stable items and a few vegetables. Kikurage are dried black mushrooms, sometimes called “cloud ears.” Koya-dofu is freeze dried tofu which looks like a fine textured ivory sponge. These ingredients are often added to soups because they absorb the flavors of broth. This recipe features the interesting textures which these unusual ingredients add to a stir-fry. Serve it with plain rice and a simple miso soup for a nice dinner at home.

The first time I made this, I’d enjoyably spent wasted the afternoon on the computer… but though you’ll find some nice YouTube links about magicians, and some nice pictures, I did not include the recipe.

Stir-Fried Freeze-Dried Tofu

Koyadofu Itame
serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side dish
page 121


  • 1/4 cup dried black kikurage, soaked in cold water for 20 minutes
  • 2 cakes koyadofu (freeze-dried tofu)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
    Vegetarians could use a vegetable broth, or kombu dashi

Drain the kikurage. Cut off and discard tough stems. Cut the remainder into thin strips. Soak the tofu to soften, about 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze gently to remove the water. In a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil and add the tofu. Cook, partially covered for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the broth. Cut each cake in half lengthwise, then into 3/8-inch slices.

Kikuruage Dried Cloud Ear MushroomsKikuruage Dried Cloud Ear MushroomsKikuruage Dried Cloud Ear MushroomsKikuruage Dried Cloud Ear Mushrooms
Kikurage, Black Cloud Ear Mushrooms increase in volume 4 to 5 times  the original!

Koya-dofu Freeze-Dried Package FrontKoya-dofu Freeze-Dried Package BackKoya-dofu Freeze-Dried SoakingKoya-dofu Freeze-Dried Soft
Koya-Dofu package (front & back), soaking, and soft-squeezed.
It still needs to be cooked in a flavorful broth.

The Vegetables:

  • 1 red bell pepper, stem, seeds, and ribs removed
  • 1 green bell pepper, stem, seeds, and ribs removed
    I used 1 small red pepper, 1 small orange pepper, and about a dozen brussel sprouts, quartered

Blanch the pepper in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then plunge into ice water. Cut into strips. I blanched the brussel sprouts for about 1 minute, then cooled. Drain the vegetables and dry thoroughly.
Stir-fried Freeze-dried tofu ingredientsThe Flavorings:

  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and juliennedF
  • 1 teaspoon toban jiang (Japanese chile-bean sauce)
  • 1/4 cup of the reserved chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon sake (rice wine)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Prepare these ingredients before you start cooking, because it happens quickly.
Heat a wok over high heat.
Add 2 Tbs. sesame oil, and when the oil is hot, add the ginger. Stir for 30 seconds.
Add the toban jiang, and cook 10 seconds.
Add the mushrooms, tofu, and vegetables, then cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, and add the reserved broth, the sake, and the sugar. Cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the 2 tsp. sesame oil and toss quickly. Serve hot, with plain rice.

Koya-dofu Freeze-dried Tofu Stir-fry

Other Japanese Stir-Fried Recipes from Tess

Stir-Fried Rice with Okra
Black Kikurage Yaki Udon

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50 Year-Old Ramen! Chikin Raisu: Stir-Fried Rice and Chicken

One thought on “Freeze-Dried Stir-Fried Tofu

  1. Pingback: Black Kikuage Yaki Udon « Tess's Japanese Kitchen

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