LESSON Twenty-Four

Agé Fuku-Bukuro & Takara-buné

Good Fortune Bags & Treasure Boats


At the Japanese table, foods resembling sacks or ships laden with treasure conjure up images of prosperity. Here, plump, fried tōfu pouches, filled with shredded vegetables  (and/or ground meat) get folded and tied with kampyō (edible gourd ribbons). Configured as treasure boats brimming with abundance, they are set upon a shallow sea of soy-flavored broth.

Using Dropped-Lids (otoshi-buta)
Dropped lids enable you to cook faster and more fuel-efficiently because bubbling liquid hitting the underside of the lid is forced to re-circulate throughout the pot.

When tōfu is pressed, thinly sliced and deep-fried, a pocket of air is trapped in the center of the slice. The slices can be slit and pried open to make small pouches. They can then be stuffed with various fillings.

The recipe here offers two suggestions: meat and vegetables, or just vegetables. Either is a great way to use any bits and pieces of vegetables it is your “good fortune” to already have on hand.

Edible gourd ribbons: soak, salt-rub & rinse, blanch. Use them to tie up tōfu pouches stuffed with vegetables and/or meat.

WASHOKU: Recipes from the Japanese Home Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2005) provides a solid foundation to the principles and practice of washoku (balance and harmony) in the kitchen and at table. This workshop page enables me to guide you further.  

I welcome your feedback -- especially captioned photos with a brief description of your kitchen sessions when you try making the recipes posted here or in WASHOKU. Those interested in offering feedback, please download a set of guidelines for submitting and displaying your work. To further teaching goals, I may post some of the feedback to this site, adding my commentary.

Every 6 to 7 weeks, I will post a new lesson to this Washoku Workshop page

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