Who isn’t a fan of Japanese food? I certainly am and luckily we have an amazing selection in Australia, ranging from exquisite degustations to cheap miso ramens and sushi trains. One of my favourite dishes is Agedashi tofu, and even though I can get it in any Japanese joint in Sydney I still tried as many varieties as possible when traveling through Japan.
Agedashi tofu, often shortened to ‘age tofu’, is made from silken firm tofu that’s been cut into cubes, lightly dusted with potato starch or cornstarch and deep fried until crispy and golden. It’s served in a hot tentsuyu broth and topped with finely chopped spring onion or grated daikon.
The best Agedashi tofu I’ve tried was in a cosy izakaya in Tokyo, called Doma Doma. It ticked all three boxes on my Agedashi Tofu satisfaction list: 1) incredibly fresh, velvet soft tofu which was like a savoury melt-in-the-mouth panna cotta, 2) the broth had a true umami flavour – savoury, tasty and subtle, and 3) super crispy, light skin (soggy Agedashi is a waste of time in my opinion). Eating it made me think of my nanna’s big hugs, getting cold feet into warm woolen socks, and cashmere sweaters. It balanced sophistication and comfort perfectly.
I have never tried making Agedashi tofu at home, probably because I am afraid I won’t be able to get the right balance of flavour in the broth or my tofu skins won’t turn out crispy enough. Or I am plain lazy to travel to Chinatown for the right ingredients. Surprisingly, there aren’t so many recipes on the web but I found a few I am willing to try soon.