My French Friend in Osaka has already extensively written about such recipes, so the present recipe is more a confirmation than an innovation!
It is very popular in Japan, probably more in my region, Shizuoka and Kanto, than in the western part of Japan including Osaka!
First of all, choose some good fresh thin leeks and use a lot for your Vitamin C, fibers and other useful nutrients. Chop them fine and drop them in a bowl.
Add the natto to the leeks. I also add a little light taste soy sauce, a little sesame oil, a little mustard and some chili pepper for additional zip. But this seasoning is entirely up to your preferences and priorities.
Mix well! It must form a really sticky mass.
Aburaage: deep-fried tofu pouches.
If you make them yourself, great!
If you van buy them freshly made at the market, great again!
Now, if you buy them packed, they either come as they are or in brine.
If in brine, throw the brine away and sponge the aburaage of between sheets of kitchen paper.
Cut each aburaage in half, or cut off one “tail” only to form a larger pouch.
With a sharp knife, “open” the aburaage so as to form a pouch.
Fill the pouch with the natto nixture.
“Lock” the pouch with a wooden toothpick as shown on the picture.
Fry on a frypan without any oil (plenty left inside the pouch), unless you are using aburaage preserved in brine.
Fry to a crispy broan colour.
Cut or serve as it is (look at top picture!) with some freshly grated ginger and some ponzu!
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