Agedashi-dofu (Deep-fried tofu with dashi-stock based sauce)

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Broadcast date:June 26, 2015

  • Meat
  • Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Beans & Tofu
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Ingredients (Serves 4 )

2 blocks of tofu of the firm momen variety, weighing a total of 600-700 g
100 g daikon giant radish
1 knob (15 g) of root ginger
3 g of katsuo-bushi (shaved smoked bonito)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Flour
Vegetable oil

Preparation

  1. First prepare the dashi-stock based sauce and the garnishes. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and katsuo-bushi to 1 cup or 200 ml of water, and bring to the boil over medium heat. Switch off the heat, and strain the mixture through a sieve. Lining the sieve with kitchen paper will produce a nice, clear stock. Peel the daikon and ginger. Grate them separately with a grating utensil. The grain or fibre is running lengthwise so be sure to grate them at a right angle to the grain. Place the grated daikon in a sieve to drain, but do not squeeze.
  2. Quarter the 2 blocks of tofu into pieces measuring about 4 x 5 cm in size, and about 4 cm high. Lay the pieces in a large, flat sieve to allow to drain. Add enough vegetable oil to a frying pan to come 4 to 5 cm in depth and heat to 180 °C. Spread some flour in a tray. Lay a piece of tofu out on a clean, dry tea towel to dry it. Then coat the tofu with the flour, ensuring all sides get coated, and pat off any excess. Place the tofu in the hot oil straight away. Be sure to coat the tofu with the flour just before you fry it. Don't coat all the tofu in one go, but coat the pieces one at a time as you add the tofu to the oil.
  3. Fry the tofu for about 1 minute and take them out when the pieces have turned a light golden brown on the surface and puffed up a little. Once you have fried all of the tofu, arrange the pieces in a slightly deep dish, and top with grated daikon and grated ginger. Reheat the dashi-stock based sauce, and pour it around the sides of the tofu. The dish is now ready to be served.

Catch of the Day

The two varieties of tofu in Japan

Two main varieties are sold in Japan.  Momen, which literally means 'cotton' has a relatively firm texture.   Some of the sides will have an imprint of the cotton cloth it was wrapped in.  The other variety, known as kinu meaning 'silk', has a smoother, softer texture.  The names denote the different appearance and texture.

The two varieties are prepared differently.  Both are made by soaking and grinding soybeans in water, bringing them to the boil, and curdling the resulting soy milk that has been strained.  The momen variety is produced by adding the curdling agent to the soy milk, pouring the mixture which has somewhat solidified into moulds, and placing a weight over them to press out water.  The kinu or 'silken' variety on the other hand is produced by simply pouring the curdling agent and the soy milk into the mould to solidify, without using the weights.

The two varieties are also different in terms of nutritional content.  The firmer, 'cotton' tofu is richer in protein and calcium, while the soft 'silken' tofu is richer in potassium and magnesium.

The two varieties of tofu are put to different uses in a whole range of dishes in the Japanese home.

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