Agedashi Tofu (Deep Fried Tofu)
Agedashi tofu, or deep fried tofu, is best served piping hot -- straight from the fryer with the accompanying sauce still toasty. In my mind, age tofu as it is also called is another one of those "gateway" Japanese dishes ... once you have a well-executed version of this dish, your eyes are opened to the possibilities of meticulously prepared Japanese food made from simple ingredients.
- 1 box silken tofu (kinugoshi)
- potato or tapioca starch for dusting the tofu
- vegetable oil for frying
- 3/4 cup dashi
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- dash of salt
- dash of sugar
- 1 stalk green onion, minced
- 1 tsp grated white radish (daikon)
- pinch dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi)
- Wrap the tofu block in paper towels to remove some of the water -- put something flat and not too heavy on top, like a trashy novel :). Let it rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Cut the tofu into large-ish blocks, about 4-6 per block. Blot each block again.
- Bring a small saucepan of fairly deep oil to medium-high heat -- the oil level doesn't have to cover the entire tofu, about halfway is good.
- Dust all sides of the tofu blocks with the potato or tapioca starch right before dunking into the hot oil.
- Rotate the tofu so all sides are nicely fried. Remove when golden brown. Set aside on a paper towel over a strainer to drain.
- Combine the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, salt and sugar in a small saucepan on medium heat. Taste and add more sugar or salt if you like. When this liquid is hot, dole out 1/3 or 1/2 of the sauce, depending on how many servings you are making, into small bowls.
- Arrange the crispy tofu blocks artfully in the bowls, then top with green onions, daikon and a sprinkle of bonito flakes. You can also add chopped shiso leaves or grated ginger if you like.
Serving Size: 2-3
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Preparation Time: 30 minutes