Tuesday 13 May 2008

Agedashi Tofu - A Japanese Way of Eating

I recently tried Agedashi Tofu in my favourite Japanese restaurant, Ten Ten Tei. I was instantly addicted; silky smooth tofu, covered in a light, crisp coating and served in a light, slightly fishy and deeply savoury broth. I was only disappointed that there wasn't more of it, as I got only one measly lump so of course I decided to make it myself - so that I could eat as much as I like!

Tofu is often highly under-rated. Everyone I know regards it as a foodstuff for vegetarians, a protein for people who don't eat meat. This really isn't so - tofu is such a complex ingredient on so many levels. It's all about the texture of it, such as lumps of firm tofu in soups like miso soup or the Sichuan hot and sour soup. Similarly, deep fried tofu is succulent when stuffed and braised, taking on flavours from the braising liquid.

Agedashi Tofu

For two greedy people as a side

1 block firm tofu (I use Mori-Nu silken kind)

2 spring onions, chopped

1 tsp wakame seaweed, rehydrated

200mls dashi (or light fish) stock

2 tbsp mirin

2 tbsp Japanese soy sauce

Pinch of Sugar

A little grated ginger


Oil for deep frying

Remove the tofu from it's packaging and drain well. Pat dry with kitchen paper and cut into large chunks. Meanwhile, boil together the dashi stock (you can buy powder sachets from the Japan Centre) with the mirin, soy sauce and sugar. Heat up some oil to deep frying heat, when a breadcrumb sizzles. Coat the tofu in cornflour and carefully add to the oil. Fry until golden brown, drain on kitchen paper. Add to your bowl, sprinkle with grated ginger, spring onion, wakame seaweed and add some of the broth. Serve immediately.

I served this with miso aubergines, cucumber salad (adapted from BBC Good Food) and white rice. I was really surprised with how it turned out - it was absolutely delicious. I didn't miss meat at all in my meal, as the tofu made for a meaty texture. Definitely a favourite to add to the repertoire.

Perhaps the beginning of Tofu Tuesday?


aforkfulofspaghetti said...

I'm not a great fan of tofu, but I love it in this form. I completely agree with it - it really works like this, and is a pleasure to eat. I get my fix at Oishii, a Japanese place in Streatham. Not a million miles from you.

tigerfish said...

I like Agedashi Tofu. It is not easy to make as you need to have that little crisp on the outside of the tofu and soft warm tofu itself. Love it! You did it! Beautiful.

Nilmandra said...

Yum! I love Agedashi tofu, but I love just fried tofu even more, as it remains crisp on the outside :) I've made miso aubergine a few weeks ago, still not blogged about it! I sliced them up though, instead of having two complete halves.

Anonymous said...

yummmm.... sounds good, maybe you can make it for me when I get back! xxx

Unknown said...

Here's a contender for your next tofu and aubergine Tuesday! http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/08/eggplant-and-tofu-in-spicy-garlic.html

I made it last week but didn't blog about it because I forgot to take a picture. I didn't peel the aubergine because I love the texture of it and it's just too wasteful. I thought the finished dish was on the salty side and I'm a salt fiend. I'd probably leave out some of the soy sauce next time. I had it with fried pak choi. The texture of the tofu was very good.

Pixie said...

I have a pack of tofu on my shelf waiting to be used up. I'll have to check out that link to your favourite restaurant as we're alway looking for good Japanese restaurants in London.

Thanks for stopping by and I'm glad to see you're doing so well with your blog.

happyraggybear said...

Oh that looks delicious! I wish I knew more about Japanese food, and had easy access to it, I'd love to try that!

Anonymous said...

Hey Lizzie, cheers for the tofu tip off! Are you a member of the UK food bloggers association? It's run by Julia at A Slice of Cherry Pie. She often posts about events and stuff coming up so you won't need to miss out next time. I thought you would have known, otherwise I would have invited you!

Hollow Legs said...

Thanks Helen; I thought I was a member of it, but I'm not sure how I'd have heard about it! :) next time.

Greedy Diva said...

Thanks Lizzie for passing on this tip today - am going to make it tonight. Just what I feel like!