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Daikon and Carrot Rolled in Fried Tofu

May 25, 2012

Ever since I signed up for Elizabeth Andoh’s Kansha Cooking Workshop I thought about making these beautiful rolls with its checkerboard design. Daikon and carrot are wrapped in fried tofu (abura-age) and tied with gourd strips (kanpyo). Vegan Japanese cooking has such appeal to me when I can create foods that are as tasty and elegant as this.

I’ve recently discovered Elizabeth Andoh’s recipes and I appreciate her philosophy to eat with “kansha” or with a full appreciation for nature’s resources. She not only teaches vegan cooking in her book Kansha: Celebrating Japan’s Vegan and Vegetarian Traditions, but she also teaches to eat simply, seasonally and without waste.

Kanpyo (dried gourd strips) and kombu seaweed are soaked in water which is later used for stock.

Rub the salt into the kanpyo strips until they soften. Rinse off the salt.

Take the abura-age and cut open the long and short sides, so you end up with a rectangle about 4 x 10 inches.

Cut the daikon and carrot strips into batons which are square on all sides. Arrange them so they form a checkerboard pattern.

Roll the abura-age.

Wrap with the kanpyo strips, once in the middle and one on either side.

Simmer in the kanpyo broth and seasonings of sugar, sake and soy sauce.

Daikon and Carrot Rolled in Fried Tofu

Adapted from Elizabeth Andoh’s Kansha Cooking Workshop

Makes 2 rolls or six pieces

1 (2-3 foot long dried kanpyo)

2 pieces of abura-age (deep fried tofu)

4 pieces of carrot sticks, cut into batons about 4 inches long

4 pieces of daikon sticks, cut into batons about 4 inches long


1 ½ cups kanpyo stock

1 tablespoon sake

1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Soak the dried kanpyo in 1 ½ cups of filtered water for 20 minutes. Remove the kanpyo from the water and dry it off. Reserve the soaking liquid as it will be used for the stock. Rub about 1 teaspoon of salt on the kanpyo strips to soften it. After the kanpyo begins to soften, about 1 minute, rinse off the salt with water.  Cut the kanpyo strips into 6 pieces about 10 inches long a piece.

2. Pour boiling water over the abura-age to remove the excess oil. Once it has cooled slightly, squeeze the abura-age in your hands gently to remove the excess water. Open the abura-age pouch by first cutting the long end with scissors; then cut along the short ends on either side.

3. Place the 2 carrot batons and 2 daikon batons along the length of the abura-age sheet, placing them strategically so they form a checkerboard pattern when seen from the cut end. Roll the abura-age around the vegetables. Tie the roll with kanpyo strips, one in the middle and one on each side.  Do the same for the second abura-age sheet and the rest of the carrots and daikon.

4. Heat the kanpyo stock over medium heat until it is simmering. Add the sake and sugar. Place the rolls in the pan so they are in contact with the stock. Let the stock come back to a gentle boil for 5 minutes, turn down the heat slightly and turn the rolls so that all sides are basted with the stock. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the soy sauce and turn the rolls over once again so they are seasoned evenly on all sides. Simmer, covered for another 5 minutes. Remove the rolls from the pan and when they are cool, cut the rolls in between the kanpyo ties. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

  1. These are gorgeous. And how lucky to get to take a cooking class with Elizabeth Andoh!

    • Thank you. And Oh, I should clarify that I haven’t personally taken her cooking class. It’s an online free subscription to her recipes and cooking techniques.

  2. Emi, I love fried tofu and related recipes.

  3. Preparing food is a sacred work. It is the source of life, love and community. Especially in our world where food is scarce, you use simple, non-harmful food and it is treated with the respect it deserves. I love the way that you show us that presentation and beauty are important.

    • Thanks, Carol for the wonderful words.


  4. Ray Myers permalink


    I just learned about you website from your Dad. It looks terrific and delicious too. Hope you are your family are well. Please let me know if you ever come back to DC area.

    Ray Myers

    • Ray,
      It’s nice to hear from you. I hope things are going well with you too. Madison is a nice place to raise a family, but I miss DC and would like to visit again.

  5. These look great, Emi. I love cooking with aburaage — the way it soaks up the flavor of seasoned dashi is wonderful. Have you ever tried making your own? (I haven’t myself, just curious!)

    • Thanks, Emma. You know, I’ve never considered making my own. That’s an intriguing idea. I wonder if the Book of Tofu which I just returned to the library had the recipe for it. I’m sure it did.

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