Agedashi Tofu is the must-try appetiser from Japanese restaurants and Izakaya (Japanese pubs/tapas restaurants). Crispy outside, deep-fried soft tofu inside served with a sophisticatedly flavoured sauce called “Tsuyu”. This has a robust umami flavour and is a to die for Japanese dish! Furthermore, it is an unbelievably simple and easy dish to make. Let me show you how!
What is Agedashi Tofu?
Agedashi Tofu is a small piece of tofu dusted with Katakuriko potato starch and deep-fried. When the dusted katakuriko is deep-fried, it creates a crispy coating outside and the tofu stays soft inside. Nearly all Japanese restaurants serve Agedashi Tofu as it is a very popular menu item, along with Yakitori and Tsukune, not only in Japan but worldwide. I thought I would share my Agedashi Tofu recipe because it is easy and cheap to make.
What Do You Need?
You need the following ingredients to gather:
- Katakuriko (Potato Starch)
- Vegetable Oil for deep frying
- Dashi, shoyu, mirin and sugar for Tsuyu (sauce)
- Grated Daikon, ginger, chopped scallions, and shichimi togarashi for garnishing. These ingredients are optional so if you can not get them, you can leave them out. Though having said that, they definitely enhance the flavour of the entire dish.
They are not all the same. There are two types of tofu; Momen and Kinugoshi, which translated means, Firm and Silken. If you are interested to read more, I have explained the difference between those two types of Tofu in my Scrambled Tofu recipe. The better choice for Agedashi is Momen firm tofu.
What is Katakuriko?
Katakuriko is potato starch flour. It is often used in Japanese cooking to thicken any sauce. When you make mochi ice-cream, Daifuku mochi and Strawberry Daifuku, it is used to stop the mochi and dango from sticking together. You can purchase Katakuriko from any Asian or Japanese grocery store, or online stores such as Amazon.
How to Make Agedashi Tofu?
Here is the brief process of making Agedashi Tofu.
- Removing excess water Tofu usually contains water. You need to remove the excess water before you deep fry them. There are a few ways to do this job and I explain them further below.
- Deep fry the tofu Dust with Katakuriko potato starch and deep fry the tofu
- Make the Tsuyu sauce Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring it to boil to dissolve the sugar.
- Serve the Tofu Serve the tofu with garnish and pour the sauce over.
3 Methods to Remove Excess Water
You need to rely on your judgment on how much moisture to remove. So you want just enough water to keep the tofu delicately soft. However, not too much so that it would burst and splatter in the hot oil when deep-fried.
- Use a weight – Wrap with a sheet of kitchen paper towel and place a light weight over it. Leave for 20-30 minutes.
- Microwave – Wrap with a sheet of kitchen paper towel. Microwave it for a few minutes on 500w.
- Boiling method – It sounds strange but you can remove water off Tofu by boiling for 5 minutes. Drain the boiling water. Leaving the tofu on a sheet of kitchen paper.
5 Tips to Make Perfect Agedashi Tofu
- If you have the choice, use Momen Tofu (firm tofu).
- Remove excess moisture out from the Tofu naturally for 20-30minutes, by wrapping cut tofu pieces with paper towel.
- Cut tofu smaller so it is easy to deep fry.
- Dust tofu with Katakuriko (Potato starch) and remove excess potato starch with a brush just before deep fry.
- Deep fry them in oil, temperature 170°C for a few minutes.
Subtly Flavoured Delicious Broth to Serve with the Agedashi Tofu
Why is this deep-fried tofu so delicious? The secret is the subtly flavoured broth. The tofu itself does not have much taste, but the tofu and broth complement each other perfectly. The perfect balance. Together, this makes it so popular in Japan and throughout the world.
Super Easy To Make
Agedashi tofu is so very easy to make, but it has such a sophisticated flavour. Furthermore, it does not take a long time to cook.
Find Your Favourite Garnishes
The Agedashi Tofu tastes great in the broth along with some garnishes such as grated ginger, grated daikon, spring onions, and Shiso leaves. I also recommend to sprinkle a hint of “Shichimi Togarashi” if you like a little bit of spicy kick in your first bite.
What to Serve with?
Serve with deep-fried Shishito Peppers. It will not only taste good but it will also complement the flavours and create a visually pleasing dish. You need to be careful to not burst the Shishito peppers when you deep fry them. In order to avoid this, poke the shishito peppers with a small knife before deep-frying
Make it Completely Vegan
If you would like to make Agedashi Tofu completely vegan, you simply need to adjust the Tsuyu sauce. I used ordinary Bonito and Kombu Awase dashi. Instead, to make a vegan dish, use Shiitake dashi to make the Tsuyu sauce.
If you liked my recipe for Agedashi tofu, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I see your wonderful creations!
- 300 g Firm Tofu
- 2 tbsp Katakuriko corn starch
- Cooking Oil to deep-fry
- ½ cup dashi *1
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Mirin
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 5 cm of daikon grated or ¼ cup
- 1 scallions
- 1 piece ginger (grated)
- 1/4 tsp Shichimi Togarashi
- 1 tsp White sesame seeds to sprinkle *2
- Remove the excess water out of the tofu by wrapping it in a paper towel and leaving it for about 20 minutes with a weight over the tofu.
- Cut the tofu 1.2inch x 1.6inch x 0.8inch (3cm x 4 cm x 2cm) *3
- Heat oil in a deep frying pan to 170°C.
- When the oil is ready, place the katakuriko onto a flat tray and dip each tofu into the katakuriko and dust off excess with a brush. *4
- Deep-fry 4 pieces of the tofu at a time for a few minutes.
- Take deep fried tofu pieces out of the oil and leave it on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.
- Make the sauce by putting all the ingredients into a sauce pan.
- Over a medium heat, bring the all broth ingredients to boil, then turn the heat off and set aside.
- Place the fried tofu into a serving bowl and top with the toppings then pour the sauce over the top.
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