This is a nice little Japanese snack or appetizer that Ms. Shimbo says goes well with beer. I found the combination of parmesan and gorgonzola with tomato sauce interesting, but would recommend using less cheese and more sauce—they are really rich (a nice way to say greasy).
Back in December, I made Grilled Cheese-Stuffed Fried Thin Tofu. I’m imagining that these pouches can be stuffed with bean sprouts, green onions, and a little miso then grilled. Or grill with a filling of cream cheese, onions, and crab? Or braise packets filled with minced pork, shrimp, or chicken and vegetables. And this looks like fun: poach an egg inside the abura-age!
Yaki Abura-age no Piza
4 to 6 servings
- 4 abura-age sheets
- 1/3 cup spaghetti-style tomato sauce
- 3 ounces parmesan cheese
(I grated it but the original recipe says cubed)
- 3 ounces gorgonzola cheese, cubed
(mine was Saga Bleu cheese, sliced)
- 8 Basil leaves, chopped
(my tomato sauce was made with loads of fresh basil so I omitted this)
- 1/3 cup grated daikon (optional)
In a large pot, bring plenty of water to a boil. Place the abur-age sheets in a flat-bottomed colander and pour boiling water over them. Turn the abura-age over and pour on more boiling water. Rinse under cold running water, drain and gently squeeze dry. This process removes excess oil from them. (This particular package was very oily and I ended up putting the abura-age right into the boiling water and squeezing them in cotton towels, which absorbed an enormous amount of oil.)
Cut each abura-age in half, and carefully open to make a pocket.
With a spoon, spread about 2 teaspoons of tomato sauce on the inside bottom surface of each pocket. Stuff each pocket with a portion of the two cheeses and the basil.
Heat an oven to 400°F, or use a broiler. Cook the abura-age until the cheese is melted and the top of each “pizza” is golden. Don’t overcook because abura-age dries out easily.
Serve the “pizzas” hot as they are or cut them diagonally to form triangles. If you like serve with grated daikon and dip in shoyu.
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