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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2 thoughts on “Abura-Age Pizza”
I almost picked these up today for noodle soup- but I did not. ;-(
Now I would love a snack for us-
Scallions, minced pork & shrimp, radish sprouts and a little kewpie mayo – yum. Pickled daikon radish with red pepper and lemon on the side…
I like all your ideas Tess. Unique use of these golden pockets!
However, I must confess- the pizza idea is a little too far out for me as I am pretty non-fusion- cheese, tomato, basil and daikon sounds – just not right for me. [sorry.] I don’t associate tomatoes with Japan at all so that could be it. However- I have an inkling that my daughter would love it! Therefore, it must be tried….
Thanks, but please read about my “cookbook project!!” Most of the recipes here (the ones with the Japanese names and page numbers) are from the book, “The Japanese Kitchen” by Hiroko Shimbo. Some of the recipes are very traditional Japanese home cooking, and some are Japanese adaptations of Western food.
These were actually very good, but I could tell even as I was putting them together that the recipe uses too much cheese. According to blogs I read, tomatoes are not uncommon in Japan, but they are smaller and taste less tomato-y, but with more umami. Blue Lotus had a post last year?? about making sauce with Japanese vs Western-style tomatoes.
Abura age keeps very well in the freezer and I almost always have some to add to soup or to make snacks. Cottage cheese, or even cream cheese with umeboshi… roasted red pepper, avocado, and shrimp…