Agedashi tofu is one of my favorite appetizers to get. If you haven’t figured it out yet, Japanese cuisine is probably my favorite Asian food to eat in the United States. This dish is really simple to make, provided you don’t mind standing a bit and taking the time to prep for it.
Tofu comes in various forms and types, but the most common is the plain soy ones that you find in most grocery stores. Asian grocery stores give you a bit more selection in the brand, but ultimate, you can use whichever kind you prefer. Some will elect for the black sesame tofu and others for the regular soy tofu. As for the type, it ranges usually from soft to medium to hard or firm. Soft tofu is much harder to work with when it comes to frying. In addition, there is more water content which makes the spatter much worse and the prep a little bit more difficult. I tend to gravitate towards a medium and sometimes a firm if I want it a little quicker.
Be prepared for a little spatter, even with a Dutch oven because you have to get the oil fairly hot. In addition, despite the coating, the water content in the tofu will cause the oil to spit as well.
I found the original recipe here, but it is posted below as well in italics. I modified mine to use only corn starch. In addition, I also squished and “squeezed” my tofu cubes slightly more than advocated on paper towels just to try and get out as much water as I can. It can sometimes be a bit of a waste of paper towels though as there is quite a bit of liquid in tofu than expected. If you use smaller squares of tofu, it is easier to dry them out. However, if you are expecting a softer and moist tofu cube when you bite into your fried agedashi tofu pieces, you may not want to sop up all the water.
For the dashi stock, I follow Alton Brown’s recipe off the Food Network website. You can find it here, or read below after the tofu recipe. I hope you enjoy this, I know some ladies out there were thinking of trying this from FB. Have fun!Agedashi Tofu – Setsuko Yoshizuka Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 1 hour Yield: 4 servings
- 2 blocks cotton tofu
- 1 cup dashi soup stock
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp mirin
- 1 Tbsp katakuriko potato starch/corn starch and 1 Tbsp water, mixed
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- katakuriko potato starch/corn starch for dusting tofu
- vegetable oil for frying.
- cooking thermometer (for oil)
- Wrap tofu with paper towels and place it on a flat tray. Put a cutting board or a flat plate on top the tofu and let sit for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put dashi, soy sauce, and mirin in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
- Add katakuriko (flour) mixture in the sauce and stir quickly. Stop the heat.
- Dry tofu with paper towels and cut each tofu in half.
- Dust tofu with katakuriko (I used cornstarch).
- Heat oil in 350 degrees F in a deep pot. (or prepare to clean!)
- Deep-fry tofu until they turn lightly brown. Drain on paper towels.
- Place each fried tofu in a small dish and pour the sauce over it.
- Garnish with grated ginger. (I used shredded nori bits or sometimes the Japanese rice toppings)
Dashi Soup Stock Recipe – Alton Brown
- 2 (4-inch) square pieces kombu (seaweed)
- 2 1/2 quarts water
- 1/2-ounce bonito flakes or katsuobushi, about 2 cups
- Put the kombu in a 4-quart saucepan, cover with the water and soak for 30 minutes. Set the saucepan over medium heat until the water reaches 150 to 160 degrees F and small bubbles appear around the sides of the pan, 9 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the kombu from the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, 5 to 6 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the bonito flakes. Simmer gently, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
- Strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer lined with muslin or several layers of cheesecloth.
- Reserve the bonito flakes for another use.
- Store soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use within 1 week or freeze for up to a month. (I make my soup only when I need it. However, I may try making a large batch as I use it fairly often for other soup bases)