Agedashi Tofu at Home

Just in time for the colder months, agedashi tofu is lightly fried and served with a warm sauce. While this is a popular dish at restaurants, I think it is tastier when made at home. Hope this will become a favorite dish in your household too!

List of Ingredients for Agedashi Tofu

(3-4 servings)

  • 1 Block firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ~1-2 Stems of green onions, chopped
  • 1 small packet (2.5 grams) of bonito flakes (dried fish flakes) or katsuobushi in Japanese

  • Potato starch or cornstarch for dusting tofu cubes
  • Oil for frying, enough for about ½ inch deep

List of Ingredients for Agedashi Tofu Sauce

(One full recipe is used for one block of tofu there should be no leftover sauce.)

  • ½ C Water
  • ¼ C Sake
  • ¼ C Soy sauce or tamari sauce

  • ⅛ Tsp Powdered katsuo dashi

  • 1 Tbs Sugar

List of Tools

  • Measuring cup for the sauce
  • Something to mix the sauce, chopsticks or spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Cutting board and knife
  • 2 large plates, flat bottom preferred
  • Paper towels
  • Weight to put on top of a plate — I use 2-3 Pyrex containers.

    The weight 2-3 pyrex containers can help press out the water
    The weight of 2-3 pyrex containers can help press out the water
  • Small bowl
  • Soup spoon for starch
  • Large plate when dusting the tofu with starch
  • Cooking chopsticks or tongs
  • Baking sheet lined with paper towels and a cooling rack that fits inside or on top, to help drain oil from the tofu and keep it crisp
  • Heavy gauge pot for frying, I am using a 3 quart pot to us less oil
  • Ladle and resting plate for the sauce
  • Small pot to heat the sauce
  • Serve individually in small bowls or serve in a larger shallow bowl

Prepare the tofu and green onions

Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes. To remove water, press the tofu by lining a large plate with several paper towels. Next, place the tofu on top of the paper towels both neatly and close together in one layer. Place several more paper towels on top of the tofu and put a plate on top. (Like a sandwich!) Now add some weight to help press the water out. (I use 2-3 Pyrex containers.) Leave for about 20-30 minutes.

Clean and chop the green onions and set aside.

Prepare the sauce

Add the water, sake, soy sauce, dashi, and sugar to a small pot. Bring to a simmer then cover and set aside.

Fry the tofu

After 20-30 minutes, remove the top plate and top layer of paper towels. Put 2-3 spoonfuls of starch in a small bowl, take a cube of tofu and coat each side. Set aside on a clean dry plate. (Be sure the pieces do not touch to avoid sticking to each other.) Repeat with the remaining tofu.

Once all the tofu is coated, fill a heavy gauge pot with ~½ inch of oil for frying.

Heat the oil on medium high. Check the oil periodically by lightly pressing the tips of the chopsticks to the bottom of the pot. If the oil bubbles quickly around the tips, then the oil is ready. If you are not sure, stick one piece of tofu in the pot. It should bubble quickly if ready and if not, that’s okay. It is better to be under the right temperature than too hot. Too hot will burn the outside of the tofu.

When the oil is ready, fill the pot with tofu but do not overcrowd. Be sure to let the tofu fry a bit initially. Otherwise, the pieces will stick together when moved.

Check that no pieces are stuck to the bottom, move tofu around to cook evenly. Fry to a nice golden color. Once golden, place on the paper towel lined baking sheet with the cooling rack. Continue until all the tofu is fried. Reheat the sauce.

Place the tofu in individual bowls or in a larger shallow bowl. Pour the sauce over the tofu, then sprinkle the bonito flakes on top and follow with the green onions. You’re done! Enjoy!

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Avocado Tuna Tartare Served with Potato Chips

This dish is a fun and tasty way to eat tuna that is not sashimi and not poke or sushi. This avocado tuna tartare is eaten with potato chips which gives it great umami! This is a great dish to serve as an appetizer or to take to a dinner party! (When dinner parties are allowed again…)

Hope this uniquely enjoyable dish becomes a favorite for you too!

List of Ingredients

(3-4 servings)

  • ¼ C Honey
  • ¼ C Rice vinegar, unseasoned — Mizkan is my preferred brand.

  • 1-2 Tbs Avocado oil or equivalent (omit if preferred)
  • 1 Tbs Soy sauce or tamari sauce

  • 1 Tsp Sesame oil — use a good quality sesame oil, Kadoya

  • 1 Tbs Peanut butter, creamy
  • ~½ Tsp Kosher salt — Diamond Crystal is worth the effort to purchase

  • Black pepper — sprinkle to taste in the dressing
  • ~1 Inch finely grated fresh ginger or to taste
  • ~1-2 Garlic cloves, pressed
  • ~1-2 Stems green onion, chopped
  • 3-4 oz High grade tuna, finely chopped
  • ½ to 1 Avocado depending on size, mashed
  • 1 Bag crinkle cut potato chips for serving

List of Tools

  • Measuring cup — for mixing the dressing
  • Whisk or utensil —to mix dressing
  • Measuring spoons (measuring glass is helpful but optional)

  • Spatula (optional) — helpful to get every last drop out of the measuring cup
  • Fork — for mashing the avocado
  • Fine microplane or grater — grating ginger into the dressing

  • Small mixing bowl — used for putting together the tartare
  • Garlic press — this is my favorite way of using garlic versus finely chopping
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Paring knife — for preparing the avocado
  • Paring knife or spoon for peeling ginger — many people have luck using the edge of a spoon to peel ginger, I just have not had any luck. I use the paring knife which is not ideal but does the job. A paring knife tends to peel away more of the ginger root than a spoon would.


Prepare the dressing

Mix honey, rice vinegar, oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, peanut butter, salt, pepper, grated ginger and pressed garlic in a bowl and whisk together. Adjust according to taste.¹

Prepare the ingredients

Finely chop the tuna into a paste like texture and set aside. Clean and chop 1-2 stems of the green onion and also set aside. Peel and use ½ or 1 avocado depending on size and place in a small mixing bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork. Add in the tuna and green onion and mix. Now add about 3-4 Tbs of dressing. Taste a bit and add more dressing if necessary. 🙂

Plate the tuna tartare and the potato chips!

That’s it! Enjoy!

¹ Enjoy the extra dressing over salad or make more tartare! It keeps well in the refrigerator!

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Tonkatsu — Light and Crispy Edition

Welcome back to byKumi.  This week, we’ll make tonkatsu, a breaded pork cutlet.  With this recipe, we’ll make tonkatsu in a way that is lighter and crispier than what you’d find at a traditional Japanese restaurant.


  • 1 Pork tenderloin¹
  • ~3 Heaping Tbs. White rice flour², plus more 
    Rice Flour
    Rice Flour
  • ¼ Cup Milk or Non-Dairy Substitute or water, enough to make medium thick batter
  • 6 oz. Panko (Japanese bread crumbs, any brand) 
    Panko (Japanese Style Bread Crumbs)
    Panko (Japanese Style Bread Crumbs)
  • Kosher salt (preferred) Diamond Crystal is my favorite brand. It is my go-to for all cooking and baking.
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic powder (or Garlic salt, omit above salt)
  • Oil to deep fry enough for about 1 inch deep. Refined coconut oil (not virgin coconut oil) or peanut oil are my top choices. These oils are good for high heat cooking.
  • Sauce for serving (Store bought tonkatsu sauce or homemade, see below for recipe.) A-1 or plain ketchup work as well!

¹ Can substitute with chicken. Chicken tenders work well. Remove extra fat and some of the tendon if possible on the tenders. Leave whole or cut in half.

² Purchase white rice flour from an Asian market. Bob’s Red Mill is not as finely ground and will be gritty in texture. And be careful not to purchase the glutinous rice flour. 

Ingredients for Tonkatsu Sauce

  • 3 Tbs. Ketchup
  • ~1-2 Tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Mix the above ingredients and adjust to your taste. This should be enough to make one serving.

Prepare the tenderloin

Remove gristle or extra fat and slice thinly. Cut about ¼ inch, keep thin so meat cooks evenly. Lay the slices of pork on a large plate or baking sheet. Lightly sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (Or pepper and garlic salt.)

Bread the pork

In a small bowl, make a batter with the rice flour and milk or non-dairy substitute or water. Adjust the batter with more liquid or rice flour to achieve the right consistency. Pour some panko in a different small bowl. 

Dip one piece of pork in the batter to coat both sides and allow excess batter to drip off. Now, lay the pork in the panko. Sprinkle panko on top and press down gently to coat evenly. Flip the pork and press gently. Shake any excess panko off and set aside on a large plate or baking sheet. Continue until all the pork is breaded, making more batter if necessary. Discard any leftover panko from the breading. 

Deep frying

Add enough oil to about 1 inch in depth in the pot. Turn on the stove to medium high. Optimal stove setting will vary. 

While heating the oil, prepare a baking sheet with paper towels and cooling rack.

The oil is ready when a piece of panko dropped in the pot immediately bubbles in the oil.

Carefully place pork into the oil. Add enough to fit the pot without overcrowding, about 5-7 pcs. Be sure no pieces stick to the bottom. Let both sides fry to a nice golden color. Once fully cooked and golden in color, remove and allow to drain on the rack.

If/when the oil fills with a lot of stray panko, remove with a skimmer. The panko will blacken and burn if left inside the pot.

Repeat until all the pork is cooked. And enjoy!

Also, don’t forget to submit a photo of your creations!  You can upload your photos using my Contact form!


Yakisoba is a savory, vegetable filled noodle dish that makes a great meal during the week. You can make it vegetarian, even vegan or add protein. Local grocery stores carry yakisoba kits with noodles and seasoning, or you can make it from scratch! It is really flexible and easy! (Just be sure to check ingredients as not all yakisoba seasoning is vegetarian or vegan.)

List of Ingredients for Yakisoba (1 serving)

  • ¼ Head of cabbage — cleaned and thinly sliced
  • ¼ Yellow onion (large) or ½ small — peeled and sliced
  • 2 Green onion stems — cleaned and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Carrot — peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal
    (Can use other vegetables too!)
  • ~1/4 lbs chicken breast/thigh meat or preferred protein (optional) — thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper — lightly sprinkle salt and pepper while frying protein and while frying vegetables
  • 1 Package of yakisoba noodles and seasoning (1 serving size)
  • Oil for cooking meat and vegetables
Packaged Yakisoba
Packaged Yakisoba

List of Ingredients for Yakisoba Sauce (1 serving)

Yakisoba Sauce Ingredients
Yakisoba Sauce Ingredients
  • ¼ C Ketchup
  • 4 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ Tsp Soy sauce or Tamari Sauce
  • ½ Tsp Oyster Sauce (can omit)

Mix the above ingredients. This is very flexible and can be altered to your own tastes. This should be enough to make one serving (which is one single serving package of ramen or yakisoba noodles, plus vegetables).

List of Tools

  • Large bowl or plate — to hold the sliced vegetables (additional plate if using protein)
  • Vegetable peeler — if using carrots
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Small pot — to boil water to separate the noodles
  • Colander — for draining the noodles
  • Cooking chopsticks — to break apart noodles in water and to cook
  • 2 Spatulas — I love my narrow and long spatulas from Ikea
  • Wok like pot for cooking — medium size is sufficient
  • Serving plate

Prepare the Chicken and Vegetables

Remove gristle or extra fat on chicken and slice thinly.

Thinly slice cabbage and yellow onion into strips and place in a bowl or on a plate. If using carrots, thinly slice on an angle and add to other ingredients. Cutting on an angle makes for pretty slices. Green onions should be cut into 1 inch lengths and set aside separately.

Prepare Noodles

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 1 package of noodles. Turn off the stove and let the noodles soften and separate. You can help separate the noodles with chopsticks but be patient, otherwise you will end up breaking the noodles into small pieces. Once the noodles separate nicely, drain in the colander and set aside.Cook the Protein

Heat the pot with 1 Tbs of oil on medium to medium high. Cook the chicken or preferred type of protein with some salt and pepper until thoroughly cooked. Set aside.

Cook the Vegetables

Add more oil if necessary and cook the crunchy vegetables (cabbage, yellow onion, carrots); just before those are fully cooked, add the green onions. Complete the frying until desired doneness. When using additional vegetables, always remember to cook the harder, crunchier vegetables first, then add other faster cooking vegetables towards the end.

Finish Cooking and Seasoning

Add the cooked chicken and the drained noodles into the pot with the vegetables. Toss to mix the ingredients a bit and then sprinkle in the seasoning packet. Toss again until thoroughly mixed, the dish is ready! Enjoy!

TIP: Too many veggies may weaken the flavor, which can be a problem if using packaged yakisoba. You can make a small amount of sauce, but many times just adding a bit of worcestershire sauce can help.


Also, don’t forget to submit a photo of your creations!  You can upload your photos using my Contact form!

Mama-san’s Chicken Corn Fritters

One of my favorite dishes growing up was my mom’s version of corn fritters. In fact, I loved them so much that I would make them for my own girls when they were younger! These corn fritters are hearty and pair well with lighter fare like miso soup and a salad like sunomono. The fritters also come together quickly, which makes for a fast, easy, and tasty(!) meal.

List of Ingredients for Corn Fritters

  • 1 Can of whole kernel sweet corn (15.25 ounce can = about 1 ½ cups) — (or equivalent amount of thawed frozen corn)
  • ~½ lbs chicken breast or thigh meat — cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 Bunch green onions — cleaned and chopped
  • ~5 Tbs. corn starch — doesn’t need to be exact, slightly heaping okay
  • ~5 Tbs. flour — doesn’t need to be exact, slightly heaping okay
  • 2 eggs
  • Milk or non-dairy substitute or water — use what is on hand to thin the batter
  • Salt and pepper — lightly sprinkle in salt and pepper
  • Oil for deep frying — I use an expeller pressed refined coconut oil that does not have the associated smell or taste of coconut. (Please do not use virgin coconut oil. It will flavor your food.) Peanut oil would be my second choice. You need enough to fill your pot with about 1 inch in depth.
    Healthy Traditions Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil
    Healthy Traditions Expeller-Pressed Coconut Oil

    Both are great for frying as they tolerate high heat well.
  • Optional for serving — Coleman’s Mustard¹, Soy Sauce, or A-1 Sauce 

¹Mix a small amount of the dry mustard powder with water for desired consistency.

List of Tools

  • Medium bowl — for mixing batter
  • Spoon for mixing — I use a flatware soup spoon
  • 1 Tbs measuring spoon — to measure cornstarch and flour
  • Cooking chopsticks or tongs — for deep frying
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Heavy pot for deep frying — medium size is sufficient (~5 qt)
  • Skimmer or slotted spoon and resting plate — to remove excess stray batter pieces
  • Baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels — to soak extra oil from fritters
  • Serving plate

Making the Batter: Drain the can of corn and add to a medium mixing bowl. Cut excess fat and gristle from chicken. Cube chicken into ~½ inch pieces and add to the bowl. (Please keep the pieces small so they cook thoroughly.) Clean and chop the entire bunch of green onions and add to the bowl.

Measure about 5 Tbs cornstarch and 5 Tbs flour into the bowl. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Mix the ingredients. Now add the 2 eggs and mix to begin to form batter. Thin the batter with milk/non-dairy substitute/water to make a batter similar in consistency to thick pancake batter. Start with about ¼ cup liquid and add more if necessary.

Preparing to Deep Fry: Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot to about 1 inch deep. Turn on the stove to medium high, which is typically a good place to start. (Note: Optimal burner setting is based on type of pot, type of stove gas or electric, size of burner.)

While heating the oil, prepare a plate or baking sheet with paper towels to drain the freshly fried fritters.

The oil is ready when a drop of the batter rises to the surface immediately.

Stir the batter before adding a spoonful (~1 ½ Tbs) into the oil. Try to scoop a nice balance of chicken, corn, and green onions in each spoonful. Add enough to fit the pot without overcrowding, about 8-10 spoonfuls. Sometimes, the batter may stick to the bottom of the pot and if this happens, loosen with chopsticks or with tongs so the batter can rise to the surface of the oil. Let both sides fry to a nice golden color. Once fully cooked and golden in color, take out the fritters and allow to drain on the paper towels. (Sometimes if the oil fills with a lot of stray batter pieces, remove with a stainless steel skimmer or slotted spoon.) Add more spoonfuls of batter and repeat until all the batter is cooked. When finished, be sure to move the pot of oil off the hot burner to cool safely.

Now enjoy your fritters plain, or with hot mustard and soy sauce (which I grew up on) or with A-1 (which the rest of my family loves)!

Also, don’t forget to submit a photo of your creations!  You can upload your photos using my Contact form!