Cut the firm tofu into 1 cm thick slices. Wrap them with a thick towel and leave overnight.
I usually place the tofu in 2 lines on the edge of the towel and then roll up the rest of the towel.
Add the tofu to the oil while it is still lukewarm.
5 minutes later...Small bubbles will form on the surface of the tofu. Turn the heat down to low. Constantly flip over the tofu.
10 minutes later...On low heat, patiently flip over the tofu so that they plump up. Then raise the heat to high.
They will plump up a little bit more when on high heat. Afterwards, just continue frying until golden brown.
This is what they look like just before they are removed from the oil. If you patiently cook on low heat from the beginning, they should take about 15 minutes.
If you just let them be after they're removed from the oil, they will harden. If possible, wrapin plastic wrap and microwave before using them to make them softer.
Story Behind this Recipe
Here in the countryside of a foreign country, I can't get out shopping much and even when I do, aburaage is pretty expensive. Buying tofu is a lot cheaper, so I tried making some aburaage from scratch.
Basically, frying these on low heat will cause them to swell out to double their size. You could probably make atsuage like this, too.