Saturday, March 16, 2013

Agedashi Tofu

I've loved agedashi tofu since I first had it back in law school.  It's pretty easy to make at home.  I use instant dashi instead of making my own from scratch.  It's easier, faster, and I can make mine more mild because I don't like the strong bonito flavor of full-strength dashi.  I've made this dish many times, and it's really important to get the silken tofu, it makes a huge difference.  Wegman's doesn't usually carry it and so I've substituted soft and firm and it will work, but if you can get silken tofu, it's worth it.  For this batch, I stopped by my local Korean supermarket and got some silken tofu.  The tofu is lightly crunchy on the outside and the silken tofu melted in my mouth.  The garnishes are a nice touch.  I used daikon, ginger, green onions, and a mix of basil and mint.  I served this with a side salad and some left over Asian style slaw.

Agedashi Tofu
from Harumi's Japanese Cooking
Serves 2

1 box soft or firm tofu
enough corn starch to dust the tofu cubes
enough vegetable oil to fry the tofu
1/2 cup instant dashi, prepared according to the package
1 Tbsp mirin
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp superfine sugar
1/8 tsp salt
~1/8 cup grated daikon
~ 1 tsp grated ginger
A few shredded basil and mint leaves
2 green onions, sliced

1) Drain the tofu and wrap it in paper towels.  Let it sit in a strainer for about 30 mins or just while you prep the rest of the meal.  Then, cut it into medium sized cubes and dry again. Coat the tofu cubes with corn starch.
2) In a large pan, heat the oil to deep-frying temperature (~340 degrees F).  Fry the tofu until golden.  Remove from the pan and let sit on paper towels.
3) Heat the dashi, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, and salt until the sugar has dissolved.
4) To serve, divide the tofu into bowls and pour the sauce around the cubes.  Top with daikon, ginger, shredded herbs, and green onions.

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