A few years ago, during the New Year Holiday, my mother-in-law gave me a cookbook. I'm not entirely sure why, maybe because she didn't need it? Anyway, there are a lot of dishes in it, mainly Japanese, and I've made quite a few tasty things from it, namely the tofu hambaagu.
In Japan, the 'hambaagu' is basically a Salisbury steak. When I first came to Japan, I couldn't stand all the sauces on the meat here (especially steak, what is up with that??) and even now I try to avoid it as much as possible, whenever I order hambaagu in a restaurant. In our house, we usually use ketchup to flavor our tofu hambaagu, though this recipe gives a recipe for a sauce (mix 4 tablespoons of ketchup with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce).
If you don't like tofu, don't worry. This recipe has meat in it (sorry vegetarians) which really tones down the tofu flavor.
1 block momen (firm) tofu
200 grams ground meat (I use chicken because it turns white when cooked)
1-2 Tbsp. oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (I have used uncooked oatmeal occasionally)
1/2 tsp. salt & 1/4 tsp. pepper
Drain tofu by wrapping it in a towel and putting something heavy on top; let it drain for twenty minutes (like in champuru). Mince the onion, then saute it in the oil until it is soft. Allow the onion to cool. In a large bowl, mix the drained tofu, cooked onion, ground meat, egg, panko, salt and pepper. Mold into patties (I usually make four good-sized patties, then make the rest into small ones for bentos.) Heat oil in a frying pan and fry hambaagu, lightly browning on each side, over med-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Remove cover, increase heat and cook off water. Serve with ketchup or hambaagu sauce.