I love age-dashi tofu (which translates as “Fried, broth” tofu). You’ll find it on the menu in some form of almost every sushi or Japanese restaurant in the U.S.
Traditionally, it is tofu covered in potato starch (katakuriko for those of you keeping score at home in Japanese) deep-fried, and then simmered in some form of dashi. Grate daikon radish over it, sprinkle it with katsuo-bushi (dried, flaked skipjack tuna for those of you keeping score at home in English) and green onion and voila! Tofu that everyone will love.
But of course, in ye olde midwestern kitchen many of the ingredients are not handy. (I’m looking at you, daikon and katsuo-bushi). And also I’m against deep-frying for health and intensive clean-up reasons. So I start with Nami’s traditional Age-dashi Tofu recipe, but change it for busy American home cooks. Check out her website for an extremely easy-to-follow set of pictures and video about cooking this recipe.
- 1 block (14 oz) firm or “japanese” style tofu
- 4 Tbsp. potato starch (or corn starch but I really recommend buying the potato starch)
- Vegetable oil for pan frying
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
or if you have it
- 1″ (2.5 cm) daikon radish
- 1 green onion/scallion
- Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
- Shichimi togarashi
Drain the tofu by wrapping tofu with 3-4 layers of paper towels and place on a plate. Place a flat plate on top of the tofu to squeeze the liquid out for 15 minutes. (Another alternate method that I use because I am super-lazy is to just put a block of tofu in a colander and let it sit for like an hour)
Remove tofu from paper towels and cut tofu into 8 pieces. Put starch on a plate, and lightly coat the tofu with the starch. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a pan. Pan-fry until most of the tofu sides are light brown and crunchy. Remove the tofu and put on a plate with a folded paper towel underneath to blot up excess oil. Arrange tofu on a plate. If you have any optional toppings now’s the time to either finely grate about an inch of peeled daikon radish on top of the tofu or sprinkle sliced green onions or whatever on top.
Mix soy sauce and vinegar into a small bowl for dipping. Eat 🙂