The tofu blocks are cut into thin, flat pieces that are square or rectangular, then drained of liquid and fried up in oil. You then remove them from the fryer, and pour boiling water over them to take off the excess oil. When cooled, they are pressed to remove any of the boiling water that was soaked up.
They end up as puffed pieces of cooked, browned tofu that you can open like a pouch.
They are used as a wrapper for food, or chopped-up as an ingredient in other dishes such as stir fries. They are often even left on their own in temples as offerings.
Aburage is usually sold fully cooked either frozen, in cans, or in fresh cello packages in chiller sections in Asian food stores. You can get it plain, or seasoned.
The Chinese version, Dow Foo Pok, is made in cubes.
If you’ve bought your Aburage in a can, open the tin, drain well, and carefully press any excess liquid out.
To make pouches out of them, open slightly to make a cavity inside.
Reheat carefully, as they can turn into dry pieces of styrofoam easily. For this reason, Aburage is often used in dishes with a sauce. To reheat in microwave on its own in a microwave, zap for just a few seconds.
To make your own, fry up cubes of tofu in a little oil — seasoned or plain — then after frying, rinse with boiling water from a kettle, and pat dry on paper towel.
Store in refrigerator for longer “shelf” life.
Pronounced “A boo ra gay.”
Abura” means “oil”; “age” means “deep-fried.”
Also spelt “Abura-age” in English.