Ganmodoki (がんもどき)

Ganmodoki is one of processed foods made of tofu (bean curd). It is also called ganmo for short. The kanji '雁擬き' is sometimes allocated for it.

After squeezing out excess moisture from tofu, it is mixed with grated Japanese yam, carrots, burdock roots, shiitake mushrooms, kelp, and ginkgo nuts, shaped roundly, and deep-fried. It is frequently used for oden (a Japanese dish containing all kinds of ingredients cooked in a special broth of soy sauce, sugar, sake, etc.) or food boiled and seasoned.


It was originally made as an imitated food for meat for a vegetarian dish (mock dish). There are several theories about the origin of its name, but the most well known theory is that it was called 'ganmodoki' since its taste imitated (pronounced modoki in Japanese) the goose (pronounced gan in Japanese) meat.
Other than that, one theory says that it imitated 'Tsukune (meatloaf).html">tsukune' (meatballs) made by boiling or steaming minced chicken meat rounded in hen's egg-sized
Another theory says that when cheep kelp was used for its ingredient instead of Judas's-ear, threadlike kelp appeared on the rounded shape surface, and they looked like flying geese.

In the Kansai region, it is called hiryuzu (also pronounce as hiriuzu, hirousu, hiryozu). The origin of hirousu is said to be filhos (deep-fried sweets mixed with flour and eggs) in Portuguese. It is sometimes said to bring bad luck since the name of 'ganmodoki' could lead to 'gan' (cancer).

Until the end of the Edo period, a dish with sauteed konjac with oil was called ganmodoki.

[Original Japanese]