CIBI's Tofu Patties with Teriyaki Sauce

4 Jul 2019 | Meg Tanaka | Zenta Tanaka

When Japanese food is mentioned, usually the first things that come to mind are sashimi, sushi and maybe ramen. However, there is a whole other side to the cuisine that is centred around family and home-cooking. CIBI ('a little one') is a book on home-style Japanese cooking inspired by the eponymous Melbourne café and design space created by Meg and Zenta Tanaka. This book features over 80 recipes that encapsulates the 'CIBI-feel': an enjoyment of food, community and sharing. This delightful tofu recipe with teriyaki sauce is just one of them. 

Tofu Patties with Teriyaki Sauce

tofu patties recipeWe’ve had this dish on the menu at CIBI since we opened in 2008. The tofu mixture in this classic Japanese dish is at the heart of many of our tofu dishes. You can make small patties for kids or to serve at parties, or large patties to turn into a meal. You can make them into any size or shape, so you can entertain yourself and your guests with your creativity. Tofu patties go well with Daikon and Mizuna Salad with Crispy Renkon.

Serves 4–6

100 g (3½ oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
100 ml (3½ fl oz) olive oil

Teriyaki Sauce

80 ml (2½ fl oz/1⁄3 cup) tamari
80 g (2¾ oz) sugar
3 tablespoons mirin
3 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)

Tofu Mixture

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh tofu, drained well
2 tablespoons olive oil
200 g (7 oz) onion, finely chopped
180 g (6½ oz) carrot, finely chopped
1⁄3 cup dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water,  drained and finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped spring onion (scallion)
4–5 cm (1½–2 in) piece of fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch) 

Make the teriyaki sauce

  1. In a saucepan, combine the tamari, sugar, mirin, sake and 250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) water and boil for 3–5 minutes.

  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the cornflour and 2 tablespoons water. Turn off the heat, then add the cornflour mixture to the saucepan. Simmer on a low heat, stirring, until the cornflour has dissolved and the sauce thickens nicely.

Make the tofu mixture

  1. Wrap the tofu block in a paper towel and place it on a flat tray. Place a small chopping board on top, just big enough to cover the tofu, and put a weight on top of the board, in order to extract as much water as possible. Leave it to drain for at least 30 minutes.

  2. In a frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and sauté the onion and carrot until tender and soft, about 5–10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

  3. Break the tofu up into small pieces with your fingers and add to a bowl with the onions, carrot, mushrooms, spring onion, ginger, tamari, sesame oil and cornflour. Mix very well to form the tofu patty mixture.

  4. Divide the mixture into patties that weigh around 150–170 g (5½–6 oz) each. Toss each patty ball gently between your hands to get the air out of it (making it less likely to fall apart), then shape it.

Cook the tofu patties

  1. Coat the patties in cornflour. Pour the oil into a frying pan and pan-fry the patties over a low–medium heat for about 5 minutes per side, until they are nicely brown and firm.

  2. Turn the heat off, then pour the teriyaki sauce into the pan and mix gently. Serve immediately.

cibi book cover

This recipe was extracted from CIBI: Simple Japanese-inspired Meals to Share with Family and Friends. 
Available now at your local bookstore and online
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