Vegan Recipe for ‘Ganmo’ Tofu Croquettes by Lina and Setsuko Kurata

Tofu, delicious when fried as ‘tofu ganmodoki’, can also be used as a filling for croquettes, found in an autumnal version here.


WordsClémence Leleu

© Lina Fievet

Tofu is an integral ingredient in Japanese cuisine. It can be eaten fried, in a fondue, plain or decorated with seaweed. In their book Japon, la tradition du végétal, (‘Japan, the Vegetable Tradition’), Lina and Setsuko Kurata offer a new version, where it is eaten in the form of croquettes after having been crumbled and then mixed with an assortment of vegetables.

This vegan recipe is like Proust’s madeleine for Setsuko, as she reveals in the book: ‘I remember how whenever I visited my grandmother, she would go to the tofu shop immediately and by some for me.’

These ‘ganmo’ tofu balls, from ganmodoki (a variety of fried tofu), are the perfect autumn dish that is easy to make using seasonal ingredients, one of the criteria set out by the two authors. The tofu takes on autumnal colours with the addition of carrots, yam, shiitake mushrooms, daikon radishes and lotus roots or sesame seeds. 

Makes 6 croquettes


5 g dried hijiki seaweed

7 g dried shiitake

50 g carrot

30 g Jerusalem artichoke

250 g firm tofu

1 tbsp white sesame seeds

1 pinch salt

2 tbsp katakuri powder (potato starch)

250 ml oil for frying

1⁄2 tsp grated ginger, to serve

Soy sauce, to serve


Soak the hijiki seaweed in water for 15 minutes. As soon as the seaweed is soft, drain and set aside.

Place the shiitake mushrooms in warm water to soak for 30 minutes. As soon as the mushrooms are soft, remove them from the water and cut into very small pieces.

Wash the carrot and Jerusalem artichoke. Peel the Jerusalem artichoke. Cut both into very small pieces.

Mix the tofu using a blender to make a paste (make sure not to overmix it as the paste must not be liquid).

Pour the tofu paste into a salad bowl and add the hijiki seaweed, shiitake and the carrot and Jerusalem artichoke pieces. Add the sesame seeds, salt and katakuri powder. Mix.

Form little flattened balls with your hands. Pour the frying oil into a pan and set over a medium heat. As soon as bubbles start to form and rise to the surface, add the balls and fry for around 5 minutes. Remove the croquettes from the pan as soon as they turn golden brown. Decorate with the grated ginger and serve with the soy sauce.


Japon, la tradition du végétal (‘Japan, the Vegetable Tradition’) (2021), a recipe book by Setsuko and Lina Kurata published by éditions La Plage (not currently available in English).

Setsuko and Lina Kurata are mother and daughter. They created Japon, la tradition du végétal as a joint work that combines their own recipes with those of Setsuko’s mother (Lina’s grandmother) to produce a digest of three generations of family recipes. Japon, la tradition du végétal is their first book. 

© Éditions La Plage