Recipe for Fried Tofu with ‘Dashi’ by Tim Anderson
This ‘agedashi tofu’ is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and served in a hot ‘tentsuyu’ broth.
© Synchronique Éditions
Tim Anderson designed this dish composed of fried tofu with dashi to please lovers of light Japanese cuisine. In the introductory text to this recipe taken from his book Vegan JapanEasy, the chef declares: ‘it’s difficult to find anything lighter and more delicate than these clouds of fried silken tofu, crispy on the outside and soft like a pillow on the inside.’
To give the tofu its crispiness, the chef covers it with potato starch before frying it, then delicately coating it in dashi sauce. This popular stock used in Japanese cuisine adds an umami flavour to the dishes it accompanies. Tim Anderson recommends consuming this agedashi tofu at room temperature rather than just after cooking or removing from the fridge.
Serves two, or four if included as part of a large meal. Serves one as a main course.
35 g firm silken tofu
1 l minimum cooking oil
80 g potato starch or corn starch
1 piece (1 cm) fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
50 daikon, peeled and finely grated
1 spring onion, chopped
1 pinch white sesame seeds and 1 pinch black sesame seeds
200 ml dashi
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp rice vinegar
To gently extract the water from the tofu, place it in a container or a dish and put a plate with a weight on it on top.
Leave for around one hour, then pat it using absorbent paper.
Meanwhile, prepare the dashi sauce.
Mix one tablespoon of dashi, the soy sauce, the mirin, and the vinegar in a saucepan, then bring to a simmer.
Add the corn starch mixture and leave to simmer for one or two minutes to allow the sauce to thicken, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Pour the oil into a large, very deep pan (it must not be over half full) and heat to 180 degrees.
Cut the drained tofu into six large pieces and gently coat them in the potato starch or corn starch.
Fry for five-seven minutes until they turn golden brown, then remove them using a slotted spoon and leave to drain on absorbent paper.
Mix the ginger and the daikon, then press them to extract the moisture.
To serve, place the tofu cubes in a shallow dish. Pour the dashi sauce all around so it soaks the bottom of the tofu, but the upper part remains crispy.
Finish with the daikon-ginger mixture, the chopped spring onions, and one or two pinches of sesame seeds.
Vegan JapanEasy (2020), a recipe book by Tim Anderson, is published by Hardie Grant.
Tim Anderson is an American chef who won the 2011 series of MasterChef UK. Having graduated in 2006 from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he studied the history of Japanese cuisine, he then lived in Japan for two years, in Fukuoka.
He now lives in London, where he runs two Japanese restaurants: Nanban Brixton and Nanban Central. Vegan JapanEasy is his latest book, following Nanban, JapanEasy, and Tokyo Stories.
© Hardie Grant
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