Agedashi Tofu is basically tofu that is first lightly deep-fried, and then served in a dashi based broth.
In Japanese cuisine, an agemono dish is any dish in which the main ingredient is deep-fried, while ‘age tofu’ would simply mean any preparation of deep-fried tofu. In agedashi tofu, the dashi can be any form of the basic Japanese cooking stock (plain seaweed, mushroom, or seaweed and bonito), but usually the chosen dashi is extended with other ingredients including soy sauce. Much of the time, a ‘noodle-soup’ type broth, or ‘Kakejiru’ is used.
Her is how to make Agedashi Tofu using a prepared Kakejiru…
- ¼ lb. Firm Tofu, pressed (see method here) and cut into bite sized cubes;
- ¾ cup Kakejiru broth;
- 1 tbsp. Soy Sauce;
- ½ tsp. Cornstarch, plus more for dusting the tofu;
- Katsuobushi flakes plus finely sliced Scallion for garnish.
Notes: The amounts here are for a small appetizer portion for two. The ¾ cup of sauce is a bit more than we need but it is trickier to work with amounts much smaller. The sauce with Agedashi Tofu often uses more soy than the basic Kakejiru so I am adding another tablespoon. You can increase this and even add more mirin or sugar if you like.
First, make a paste of the half teaspoon of cornstarch with a little water and then add in the Kakejiru. Heat this in a small pot over moderate heat until it thickens and turns clear and glossy. Keep warm for now.
Toss the cubes of tofu in the remaining cornstarch and shake off the excess.
Now deep fry the cubes in oil over moderate heat until the float to the surface and are just starting to turn golden brown in a few places.
Remove the cubes and drain on paper towels to remove the excess oil For service, put a few cubes in appropriate dishes, pour over a little of the sauce and garnish. The Katsuobushi flakes and scallion I have used are fairly standard and you can do as you please. Many renditions include some minced ginger, or daikon as well…
Enjoy while still hot!