Kaminaridofu / pan-fried tofu with soy sauce and katsuobushi

With the literal meaning of “thunder tofu,” this dish is well named; the water from these small cubes of firm tofu makes a rumbling sound when fried at high heat. For the sodium-savvy version below, I use less oil so that the amount of seasoning (soy sauce in this case) can be reduced. As a result, the tofu cubes only make a tame roar, if any. While the dish is now less entertaining to cook in an audio-visual sense, it has the advantage of requiring less cleanup of spattered oil. Taste-wise, this is quite strong thanks to the intense flavor of katsuobushi bonito flakes, and the strong flavor is highlighted by refreshing green onion slices. A small yet satisfying dish.

1/2 of recipe:
99 calories; 7.7 g protein; 6.4 g fat; 2.2 g carbohydrate; 15.8 g net carbs; 100 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 1 mg cholesterol; 0.5 g fiber


Approx. 200 g momen firm tofu (208 g in photo, 190 g after draining excess water)
1 green onion (9 g in photo)
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp katsuobushi bonito flakes (1.5 g in photo)
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp kurozu brown rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil

Place tofu on a zaru strainer, and let excess water drain for 20+ minutes.
If in a hurry, microwave for 1-2 minutes, and drain when water comes out.


Mix kurozu vinegar and soy sauce.


Thinly slice green onion, and cut tofu into 2 cm cubes.


Heat sesame oil, and fry tofu cubes on medium high until surfaces are lightly tinted.
Flip tofu cubes from time to time, aiming to have all surfaces contact frying pan and oil.


Swirl in soy sauce + kurozu vinegar mixture, and stir tofu cubes for even flavoring.

Cook until liquid is gone and toasty.

Add katsuobushi, and mix well.


Plate, and top with green onion slices.
Ready to serve.


  • Make sure oil is hot enough before adding tofu cubes. When oil temperature is low, tofu cubes stick to pan surface. 
  • If kurozu brown rice vinegar is not available, regular rice or grain vinegar works fine. Kurozu is more aromatic with a stronger and more complex taste.
  • If you choose not to use vinegar, replace with 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce (sodium figure will go up accordingly). 
  • The momendofu (momen firm tofu, often labeled as “regular” in the US) I use contains 15 mg sodium per 85 g tofu (18 mg sodium per 100 g tofu).