Sunday, December 5, 2010
I had the most amazing Agedashi Dofu the other night. My friend's [Fuyumi] mom is an incredible Japanese cook so when Mrs H asked me if I'd like to help out at a dinner she was hosting, I jumped at the chance. One thing to note about Japanese Cuisine is that it is very labor intensive. Making renkon [lotus root] and carrots look like little flowers may have looked lovely but I was ready to stab myself over the laboriousness of it all. Not to say that I'm not going to do that for my family's New Year's party. I think the memory of how long it really took will be gone by the time New Year's comes around.
There were so many wonderful items on the menu but my favorite was definitely the Agedashi Dofu. Deep fried tofu steeped in salty sweet richness of the tsuyu [soup], it was impossible to resist. This was always something I would only order at restaurants, but Mrs H assured me that this was the easiest thing in the world to make. She was right.
Firm tofu tends to be easier to handle but I prefer the consistency of the softer silken tofu, which makes for a creamier inside of the crispy shell. Press out as much of the water as possible [my mom uses jars filled with water placed on top of plates, placed on top of the tofu].
I've seen various types of batter from tempura and flour to katakuriko [potato starch]. Mrs H uses katakuriko to flour the tofu.
After heating up the oil, gently drop the tofu into the oil and allow to deep fry until the exterior is firm and crisp. Turn over and repeat.
Top the tofu with various colorful items such as spinach, katsuobushi, green onions, daikon sprouts, asparagus, tomatoes, grated ginger & daikon. Pour the tsuyu over the tofu and serve immediately.
Best dish ever.
1 cup dashi [my friend, Rachael, has a WONDERFUL explanation on how to make it!]
2 Tbsp Shoyu [soy sauce]
2 Tbsp Mirin [Sweet Rice Wine]
Combine tsuyu ingredients and keep warm until ready to use.
After draining tofu of water, coat tofu with flour. Deep fry until shell is crisp and firm. Pour Tsuyu base over tofu.