No, this isn’t deep-fried satsumas! When I first heard that tangerines are called satsumas in the UK, I was surprised. If you asked for a satsuma in Japan, you’d be given a sweet potato!
But that’s enough of tangerines, let’s talk about Satsuma-age. It’s one of the best known deep-fried dishes in Japan, originating in the Satsuma region – what is now called Kagoshima, in Kyushu.
Satsuma-age is great fresh from the pan, or fried with salt or soy sauce, but we also add them to vegetable dishes and oden. (I’ll tell you how to make great oden another time.)
You don’t usually use tofu in satsuma-age, but I think adding a little that has had the water pressed out of it makes the texture a little better.
This time I mixed in shiso and shredded konbu, but you can use vegetables or squid or octopus, or anything you have left over in the fridge!
- 300g Cod (skin and bones removed)
- 150g firm (momen/cotton) tofu
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 piece of ginger
- 1 pinch of sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon of potato starch (or corn starch)
- 1/2 an egg
- salad oil
- Shredded konbu, shiso (or anything else you have left over)
1. Wrap the tofu in kitchen paper and heat in a 500w microwave for 3 minutes. Then wrap in new kitchen paper an put a plate on top of it as a weight, and leave for 3 hours or so to press out the liquid.
2. Mince the cod in your food processor.
3. Mix well the tofu from above, sake, juice from the grated ginger, salt, potato starch and egg. Add shiso, shredded konbu (or welsh onions, carrots, burdock, hijiki, sweet corn, pine nuts…. whatever you fancy!) and shape the mix into small patties.
4. Deep-fry the patties in 160C oil, and they’re done. You can fry them in a frying pan with plenty of oil if you prefer. Eat them with a bit of salt or soy sauce.
Squeezing the water out of tofu makes it this flat! This is a common way to prepare tofu for use in cooking.