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Deep-fried Tofu (Agedashi-dofu)

February 26, 2012

Deep-fried Tofu (Agedashi-dofu)

My six-year old loves deep-fried tofu, maybe as much as french fries. But then again, she loves almost anything deep-fried. I believe that eating deep-fried foods in moderation is acceptable for overall health. I suggest you do what the Japanese do: eat this with grated daikon (daikon oroshi), which supposedly aids in digestion and cuts the oil.

The first time I tried deep-fried tofu or agedashi-dofu was at a restaurant in Japan with my dad’s cousin. The tofu sat in a delicately flavored broth, garnished with grated daikon, katsuo bushi (fish flakes), and some pungent herb. It was so simple, yet tasty and satisfying. Although deep-frying takes some practice, I have found that this dish is far less difficult than other agemono (fried foods) such as tempura. I recommend using potato starch to coat the tofu; the coating will be crispy and chewy at the same time – very delicious. If you want to fry with less oil, as I like to do, just make sure there is enough oil to come up halfway up the sides of the tofu. You will have to turn them over to fry on the other side. Here are some tips that I have to share about deep-frying tofu:

1. Remove some of the water from the tofu using a weight

2. Use a deep, wide pan to retain heat while frying

3. Use fresh oil for best results, but secondhand oil will still work

4. Fry tofu in hot oil about 350 degrees F

Deep-fried Tofu (Agedashi-dofu)

Serves 4

15 ounces tofu

For the sauce

1 cup dashi

2 tablespoons mirin (seasoned wine)

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

¼ tsp salt

Toppings

0.2 ounces katsuo bushi (bonito fish flakes)

1-inch piece daikon, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon red pepper puree

1 tablespoon of prepared basil pesto

Frying

1/3 cup potato starch

2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

1. Wrap the tofu in paper towels or in a clean dish cloth and put a weight on top of it to draw out the water, about 15 minutes. Remove the weight and cut the tofu into 1 ½ inch blocks.

2. Bring the dashi to a boil in a pot; add the mirin, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Turn down the heat and keep the sauce warm while you fry the tofu.

3. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Dust the tofu all over with potato starch and gently place the tofu in the hot oil. Fry in small batches, about 4 or 6 at a time, leaving ample space between the pieces in the oil. The temperature of the oil may drop; this is ok, do not turn up the heat. Fry the tofu until it changes color to light brown and is crispy, about 2 minutes; then carefully turn the tofu over to fry on the other side, about 1 more minute. Remove the tofu with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

4. Place the tofu in small serving bowls, pouring the warm sauce around it. Avoid pouring the sauce directly on the tofu. Put a small mound of grated daikon (daikon oroshi) on top of one or more of the tofu; top it with red pepper puree. Other tofu can be topped with katsuo bushi or basil pesto.

Ingredients for agedashi-dofu: tofu, dashi stock, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, potato starch, daikon, katsuo bushi, and oil for deep-frying (not pictured).

Grated daikon is a traditional garnish for agedashi-dofu.

To make the sauce, add soy sauce to dashi.

Next the sugar and salt.

Finally, the mirin.

Bring the sauce to a boil; reduce heat and keep warm while you fry the tofu.

Wrap the tofu in a clean towel to remove excess water.

If possible, put a weight on the tofu to draw out more moisture.

Cut the tofu into big blocks.

Dust with potato starch.

Deep-fry in hot oil until lightly brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

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From → Recipes, Tofu

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  1. Make Your Own Tofu « Lettuce Cook

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