Photo: Bowl of Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi Tofu

Dashi serves as the basis for many Japanese dishes. Substitute traditional bonito flakes for iron-rich kombu. This popular dish is one of the best ways to enjoy tofu – simple, warm, and delicious.

Yield: 
4-6 Servings
Ingredients: 

Vegetarian Dashi

  • ¼ cup dried shittake mushrooms
  • 2½ cups water
  • 5" piece of dried kombu

Tofu

  • 1 (10-ounce) block medium tofu, drained well
  • 4 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 Tablespoons mirin
  • ¾ Tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup corn starch
  • ¼ cup safflower oil + more if needed
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds or gomasio
Instructions: 
  1. Rehydrate mushrooms according to package directions. Coarsely chop mushrooms, combine them with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ½ cup water and kombu. Bring to a boil. Strain mixture into a large bowl, reserving mushrooms to use in other dishes and discarding kombu.
  3. Cut tofu into ¼” thick slabs, then slice in half width-wise. Place tofu on paper towels to remove any excess water.
  4. Combine prepared Vegetarian Dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  5. Pour corn starch into a shallow bowl. Coat tofu slabs with corn starch.
  6. Heat safflower oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry tofu until golden, turning once. Work in batches if necessary. Add more oil if needed. Tofu should be immersed one-fourth to halfway in oil. Transfer to paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  7. Transfer tofu to a serving bowl and add warm sauce. Garnish with green onions, ginger, and sesame seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy!