Some people wrinkle their noses at the suggestion of tofu. It’s bland, they say. But it’s only bland if you don’t know how to cook it. In a good recipe, tofu becomes healthy comfort food.
So today’s tip is to try one of these recipes for tofu fritters—hot comfort food on a cold day. If you decide you like it, great: It’s an inexpensive, lower-calorie and earth-friendly source of protein.
Short for agedashi tofu and pronounced AH-gay DOE-foo (in transliteration, tofu is sometimes dofu), these hot tofu fritters have us hooked. Silken tofu is cut into cubes, which are lightly dusted with potato starch or cornstarch and deep fried until golden brown. The result is a crisp outside with a creamy, soft inside.
The tofu is served with a hot tentsuyu broth (dashi, mirin and and soy sauce)—sometimes coming to the table in a pool of broth-like sauce, sometimes with the broth served on the side. The tofu arrives garnished with finely chopped green onion, grated daikon, dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and sometimes grated ginger.
The tofu soaks up the broth, and along with the garnishes, becomes a complex layering of delicate flavors. If you like spicy, you can add shichimi togarashi, a blend of seven spices including hot red pepper (togarishi) and sansho pepper pods.
One of our favorite comfort foods: age tofu. Photo courtesy JustOneCookbook.com.
This recipe is adapted from JustOneCookbook.com, where you can see the step-by-step preparation in photos. Prep time is 15 minutes, cook time is 15 minutes.
RECIPE: AGE TOFU (AGEDASHI TOFU)
Ingredients For 3 Servings
1 block (14 ounces) silken tofu/soft tofu
4 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 cup dashi stock (make it with dashi powder, available at Asian markets or online; use kombu dashi if vegetarian)
2 tablespoons Japanese soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
For The Sauce
1″ (2.5 cm) piece daikon radish, grated
1 green onion/scallion, thinly sliced
Dried bonito flakes or grated ginger root
Optional: shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice)
For The Toppings