Ham and cheese fried tofu pockets

Who doesn’t like ham and cheese sandwiches? It’s one of those easy snacks everyone seems to love and eat on a regular basis. But you know what’s even better than that? Ham and cheese fried tofu pockets. I kid you not!!

Now don’t say eww because you see the word tofu, I am talking about deep fried tofu sheets here (abura age).

Crispy, slightly puffy fried tofu pockets stuffed with shredded cabbage, mozzarella cheese and ham, and topped with a dollop of mayo and a drizzle of soy sauce. De-lish!


Abura age (deep fried tofu sheets) can be found in most Asian grocery stores and will keep in the freezer (when sealed properly) for months.

If you have never worked with abura age before, you are in for a nice surprise: Extremely versatile in flavor and texture, they can be served as sweet pockets stuffed with rice (inarizushi), chopped and dropped into miso soup, added to fried rice, or pan fried until crispy like in this recipe.

They are extremely popular in Japan and are a wonderful way to introduce soybean products to your family – way better than a firm, plain block of tofu!


What is Abura-age (油揚げ)?

Abura-age are deep-fried tofu sheets used for miso soup, as pockets for inari sushi, as a topping for udon and soba (called kistune udon, kitsune soba). They are sold in the frozen section at Asian grocery stores and Japanese supermarkets.

No oil is needed for this recipe as the tofu sheets are oily to begin with. Slice them in half, stuff them with ingredients, drop them into a frying pan for about 15 minutes and you’re done. It truly is a simple and easy snack to make!

I made these with my mother for the first time a few weeks ago while in Japan. We were both feeling lazy lying on tatami mats and drinking glasses of cold mugicha (barley tea) while watching a baseball game on TV.

When you are this comfortable the thought alone of spending a long time slaving in the kitchen is exhausting!


That’s when having a list of easy snacks to prepare comes in handy and I am pretty sure that once you try this fried tofu pockets recipe, it will become one of your favorites too 😉

More easy snacks: Baked and stuffed zucchini boats, cucumber sesame chicken salad, mango and shrimp summer rolls,  cheese bread with fig jam.

abura-age-pockets2 Ham and cheese fried tofu pockets

Did you like this Ham and Cheese Tofu Pockets Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!


Ham and cheese tofu pockets

A fun and tasty snacks both kids and adult love. Hurray for tofu pockets!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 16 minutes
  • Total Time: 21 minutes
  • Yield: 6 pockets 1x
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Pan frying
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 3 Fried tofu sheets (abura-age)
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 slices cooked ham
  • mayonnaise
  • soy sauce


  1. Slice tofu sheets in half and carefully open the inside so that it becomes a pocket.
  2. Put ham, cabbage and cheese inside each pocket (don’t over stuff it).
  3. In a pan over low/medium heat, add the pocket and cook on each side until crispy (about 8 minutes on each side).
  4. Serve topped with a little mayonnaise and a drizzle of soy sauce.
  5. Chop in as many pieces as you’d like.
  6. Serve with mayo and soy sauce.


You can eat these tofu pockets hot or cold and serve them with other sauces such as ketchup and tonkatsu sauce.

Keywords: Appetizer, side, soybean

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