Abby Hocking / Food & Wine
Active Time
40 MIN
Total Time
1 HR 15 MIN
Serves : 4 as a starter

F&W Best New Chef 2017 Yoshi Okai, of Austin’s Otoko, makes these crisp fried doughnuts with a combination of silken tofu, sugar, flour and salt. The texture is not that of a traditional doughnut; instead, it’s more like mochi, with an appealing chew. The creamy, sweet and smoky mezcal sauce is a most excellent accompaniment.Okai’s crisp fried doughnuts have an appealing chew, almost like mochi. He says, “At Nishiki Market in Kyoto, Japan, there is a tofu shop where they’ve been making tofu for over 50 years and tofu doughnuts for 25 to 
30 years. I was a teenager when I ate them, and I re-created the recipe later because I was kind of homesick. I don’t have 
a recipe for them from Nishiki, but I made them from memory, and I think they came out pretty good.”
 Slideshow: More Doughnut Recipes

How to Make It

Step 1    

In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the silken tofu with the sugar until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Form the dough into 16 balls and transfer to a parchment paper–lined plate; freeze for 30 minutes. 

Step 2    

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer the mezcal over moderate heat for about 3 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and cook, stirring, until the mezcal sauce is hot and smooth. Let cool. 

Step 3    

In a large saucepan, heat 
1 inch of canola oil to 365°. Add half the tofu balls and fry over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until puffed and browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining tofu balls. 

Step 4    

Spoon 4 small dollops of 
the mezcal sauce onto each of 
4 plates. Place a warm tofu doughnut on each dollop, then top with the orange pieces. Drizzle each plate with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and garnish with shichimi togarashi. Serve right away. 

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