This Japanese dish of agedashi tofu is a delightful little treat of floured and deep fried tofu, sitting in a flavorful broth you take sips of with each tofu bite.
It’s great as a little side dish but is something that should be eaten immediately after served so the deep fried layer stays as crisp as possible.
I’ll never understand why some people have an aversion to tofu. I suppose there can be a slight disconnect from what it actually is made of since it’s just a white jiggly block. We meat-hungry Americans are missing out on a lot of good stuff by not trying new foods. Are you one of those? 🙂
Tofu has been eaten for over 2,000 years in China, and agedashi tofu specifically has been eaten in Japan for at least 200 years. I’m not sure how old the Vietnamese tofu with tomato dish has been around but it’s probably where I get most of my tofu intake.
What does agedashi mean?
In “agedashi”, “age” means fried, and “dashi” is of course the stock it’s sitting in–very appropriately named. It’s a dish I like at Japanese restaurants and izakayas because of its simplicity and how good it is. Probably the same reason I enjoy plain nigiri sushi so much–less distraction so you can focus on the goods.
I usually get my tofu at local Vietnamese markets since there’s the option of fresher tofu vs. the mass-produced blocks. However those are a decent fallback choice. Major American supermarkets are starting to carry tofu, even though there isn’t too much variety in brands and sometimes it’s worth the convenience.
Tofu itself is one of the few foods that are almost completely digestible. But since this recipe is deep fried, I wouldn’t go as far as to say agedashi tofu is a health food but it is super delicious!
Fry some up, take a whack at it, and let me know what you think!
Japanese Agedashi Tofu (Deep Fried Silken Tofu in Broth)
- 1 block silken tofu
- 4 tbsp potato starch
- neutral cooking oil for frying
- 1 cup dashi – I cheated here with instant dashi granules
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin
Toppings / garnish
- daikon radish finely grated
- 1 stalk green onion
- katsuobushi dried bonito flakes
- Cut the tofu in half, and press between half sheet pans or flat plates for 15 minutes between paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible
- Meanwhile, finely chop green onion and grate daikon
- Add dashi, soy sauce and mirin to a pot and bring to a boil Adjust to taste.
- Make sure the tofu is dry! Then cut into 8 even pieces, or desired size.
- Coat each tofu piece in a layer of potato starch.
- Heat enough oil to submerge your tofu pieces and fry at 350F until crispy.
- Add tofu to a bowl, add toppings, then the broth at the last second to keep it crispy until you’re ready to serve.