Jun 23, 2024

Shiso and Cheese Stuffed Tofu in Japanese Seasonings

Mister saw a recipe online and made a request to me. It was like a beer food, or so called otsumami made with tofu stuffed with cheese and shiso. I glanced through the recipe and seemed pretty doable, therefore wish granted.

Shiso and cheese stuffed tofu in Japanese seasonings -

Shiso and cheese stuffed tofu in Japanese seasonings


  • 2 big pieces fried tofu (soft skin kind)
  • 10 shiso leaves
  • 125 grams mixed shredded cheese (mozzarella and Cheddar)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


I remember the original recipe uses fried tofu, the soft yellow skin kind. That works too, but for my version, I started off with fried tofu too, but with extra step by storing the tofu in the freezer first.

So remember to defrost the tofu the day before cooking if using the frozen kind. Also carefully squeeze out all the thawed liquid without tearing the delicate tofu apart. The reason why I chose to use frozen tofu is that the freeze and thaw texture will be able to suck in even more sauce compared to the regular tofu, which means a more satisfying and juicy bite as a result.

Roll up the shiso leaves and give it a fine chop. Transfer chopped shiso to a mixing bowl. Add in shredded mix cheese. Use a fork and mix till about evenly blended.

Chopped shiso leaves and shredded cheese filling

Add all the ingredients under the "sauce" section. Mix and make sure the sugar has been fully dissolved. Set aside for later use.

If using fresh tofu, simply slice to big triangular shaped pieces. If using freeze and defrost kind, make sure to really squeeze out the liquid as prep work then slice to triangular shaped pieces too.

Make a slit in the center on the sliced side of the triangular tofu. Avoid cutting all the way down and break the shape, more so just to create a pocket space for the filling.

Stuff the shiso and cheese mixture inside the tofu. Try to squeeze in as much as you can but not poking through the tofu skin.

Fried triangular tofu stuffed with shiso and cheese filling

Use a non-stick pan and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Switch to medium heat and wait till the oil turns warm.

Gently transfer the tofu pieces over. I try to sear all sides except for the side that I stuffed in the filling.

Searing the sides of tofu

Once more sides are seared and got a slightly brown color, lay down the tofu and pour in the sauce mixture. Let the sauce boil and cook for a bit. Carefully flip to the other side and continue to cook till the sauce has been reduced a little.

Cooking stuffed fried tofu in Japanese seasonings

One little trick here, when laying down the big triangular tofu pieces, you can try to arrange the tofu with cut side facing one another. That way we can kind of closing the slit, preventing oozing cheese to flow out.

Plate the tofu cut side up when plating and serving, showing the most delicious part to diners.

Shiso and cheese stuffed tofu in Japanese seasonings

Even though frozen tofu won't hold up the shape as well as fresh tofu, but the sogginess is due to all the sauce being absorbed within. Don't know about you, but I do prefer a spongy sauce-filled tofu over looks.

Shiso and cheese stuffed tofu in Japanese seasonings

Put the appearance aside, I successfully fulfilled the request. Mister got what he wanted, and hopefully the actual result turned out better than what he imagined.

Other otsumami recipes:

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