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Agedashi-Dofu (Japanese Fried Tofu)

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Level: Easy

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Description

Tofu can be bland, but the Japanese use deep-fried tofu as an appetizer, especially in bars (izakaya). It’s popular and really good.

Here’s the thing: this is so easy to make, and takes so few ingredients, that it’s surprising that more non-Japanese cooks and restaurants don’t serve it.

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces, weight Firm Tofu
  • Corn Or Potato Starch For Coating Tofu
  • Vegetable Oil, As Needed For Frying
  • FOR THE BROTH OR DIP:
  • 1 cup Dashi (If You Have It) Or Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Sake (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Mirin
  • 1 pinch Sugar
  • FOR GARNISHING:
  • Sliced Scallions (optional)
  • Bonito (fish) Flakes (optional)
  • Grated Ginger (optional)

Preparation

Drain tofu by putting paper towels above and below it, and put a heavy pan on it for 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, combine broth or dip ingredients in a sauce pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand.

Dry the tofu and cut into 8 equal-sized pieces. Put the starch in a deep plate and roll/coat each tofu piece on all sides.

Heat a frying pan (or deep skillet). Add enough oil for frying and heat oil. When hot, deep-fry or pan-fry tofu in two batches, until it turns a golden color. Drain on paper towel.

To serve, put two or three pieces of tofu in a shallow bowl (for individual servings). Add broth/dip to the bowl and top with any or all of the garnishes. Try to do all this when the tofu is really hot.

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