Agedashi tofu is one of a slew of flavoursome appetisers hailing from Japan. Known for its crisp exterior from deep-frying, and its super soft and silky tofu underneath, the delicate dish is often paired with sweet and savoury sauce plus a sprinkle of bonito flakes to top.
- 300 g firm tofu
- 1 tsp instant dashi
- 1 cup (250 ml) hot water
- 1 tbsp sake
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1½ tbsps light soy sauce
- 2 tbsps cornflour
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 2 tbsps coarsely grated daikon radish
- 1 cm piece fresh ginger (5 g), grated
- 2 green onions, chopped finely
- 2 tsps dried bonito flakes
Press tofu between 2 chopping boards with weight on top, raise one end; stand 25 mins.
Meanwhile, combine dashi and the water in small saucepan. Add sake, mirin and sauce; bring to the boil. Remove from heat.
Cut tofu into 8 even-sized pieces; pat dry between layers of absorbent paper then toss in combined cornflour and sesame seeds. Heat oil in wok; deep-fry tofu, in batches, until browned lightly. Drain on absorbent paper.
Place 2 pieces of tofu in each serving bowl. Divide daikon, ginger and onion among bowls; pour dashi over tofu then sprinkle with bonito flakes.
TIP Dashi is the basic fish and seaweed stock that accounts for the distinctive flavour of many Japanese dishes. It is made from dried bonito (mackerel) flakes and kombu (kelp). Instant dashi powder, also known as dashi-nomoto, can be purchased in concentrated liquid or granule form; here, we used granulated dashi. Bonito flakes can be found in most Asian food stores.