Updated: Jul 25
Agedashi Tofu originates from Japan, usually this dish is commonly found in Izakaya restaurants around business districts. Agedashi tofu is normally a simple side dish but instead I wanted to create this dish as a main course as its so damn good. Yes its deep fried tofu but is still incredibly light as the broth gives it a fresh light lift. This dish can also be made completely vegan if you want, will list the method to that in my additional notes...with all that said lets get it!
500g fresh tofu
lotus root (optional)
pinch curry powder (optional)
2 spring onions
75g corn flour
pinch of salt
shichimi pepper (optional)
1 hand sized piece of kombu
1 handfull of bonito flakes
200 ml water
2 tbsp light soy
2 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sugar
squeeze of lemon
1. For this dish lets start by making the agedashi broth, to be able to make this broth firstly we need to make dashi stock. To make dashi add the hand sized piece of kombu to 200 ml of water to a pan and let soak for around 15 minutes off the heat. Next add the pan to a low simmer and slowly bring to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil remove from the heat and add roughly a hand sized amount of bonito flakes. Let the stock infuse for around 10 minutes (almost as if it was like a pot of tea) then strain the broth into a bowl, now we have dashi stock.
2. To transform the dashi into agedashi stock, add the dashi stock into a pan and simmer on a low heat. Next add 2 tbsp of soy, 2 tbsp of mirin, 2 tsp of sugar then a small squeze of fresh lemon. Simmer for around 10 minutes on a low heat and set aside. We now have agedashi broth.
3. Now onto the tofu, for this dish I used medium firm tofu as it holds its shape much better, however you could use silken tofu although its much more delicate to work with. Chop the tofu into around 5 cm cubes (you want largish cubes), next wrap the tofu in kitchen paper to remove some of the water content. Take care how long you keep the tofu in kitchen paper as you still want to reserve a little moisture in the tofu which will prevent it from being dry when cooked. Around 10 minutes covered in a paper towel should be cool.
4. While we're waiting for the tofu we can prepare the lotus crisps, peel the lotus root then slice as thin as you possibly can. In a pan add around 250 ml of oil and bring the temperature up to 180 degrees centigrade, next add the sliced lotus root and fry until golden. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel, season the crisps with a pinch of salt, curry powder, and a tiny pinch of sugar. Keep the oil as we can use this for the tofu.
5. Lets cook the tofu, for the dredge I used corn flour, this makes a light coating on the tofu also you can season the corn flour with japanese shichimi pepper (optional). Add the tofu pieces to the corn flour and fry at approximately at 180 degrees for around 2 minutes each side. When the tofu has a nice light brown colour remove and place onto a paper towel.
6. We are now all set, let's serve! In a bowl add the fried tofu cubes followed with a ladle of agedashi stock around the side. Sprinkle over the lotus crisps and add finely sliced spring onion and a few specks of bonito flakes over the top.
Enjoy this healthy umami bomb!!!
Ok, to make this recipe vegan simply remove the bonito flakes from the topping, as for the dashi, instead of using bonito flakes you could use dried shiitake mushrooms. I guess if you wanted to try this dish using fish you could use a white fish such as cod or even sea bass instead of using tofu. I think fish would really compliment the agedashi broth. If you cannot get hold of lotus root then potato would work just as well for this. If you want to add more substance to this dish then you could also eat with a bowl of cooked japanese rice and pickles.