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Japanese Tofu Balls

I've been planning my Bonfire Night menu and have Japanese food on the brain following last week's Goma Ae recipe and Sachiko Saeko's Japanese Masterclass. And what could be better party food than deep fried tofu balls with a delicious savoury sauce?

These Japanese tofu balls are another wonderful Sachiko recipe which uses tofu in its natural form and serves it with a salty sweet ginger sauce and steamed tender stem broccoli. Traditionally, the tofu balls are deep-fried but you could shallow-fry them and turn them over.

If you fancy learning more Japanese recipes, check out upcoming Japanese Masterclass courses. And have a happy Bonfire Night in the meantime!

Gan Modoki

Gan means "duck" and Modoki means "mock". Tofu is a nutritious food for vegetarian monks. These tofu balls are delicious freshly cooked and eaten on their own although cooking with other seasonal vegetables will make a great dish. - Sachiko

Serves 4 (makes 8 balls) 

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten Free if you use tamari instead of shoyu


  • 1 tbsp arame seaweed
  • 400g firm tofu, pressed under a weight for over an hour to drain water
  • 30g carrot, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsps edamame beans (frozen)
  • 30g potato flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Oil for shallow or deep frying

For the ginger sauce:

  • 2 tbsps shoyu
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 150ml vegetable/mushroom stock
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp potato starch, add 2tbsps water
  • 100g tender stem broccoli


  1. Leave the tofu under a weight for over an hour to remove water.
  2. Soak arame in a little water for ten minutes. Then drain.
  3. Add carrot, arame, edamame, potato flour, salt and tofu into large bowl. Mix together well.
  4. Make into 8 flat oval shapes then deep-fry until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper.
  5. Steam tenderstem broccoli till soft.
  6. Heat the stock, shoyu sauce and mirin, then add grated ginger and potato starch mixed to a paste with water to make a sauce.
  7. Serve tofu balls with steamed tender-stem broccoli and the ginger sauce