Agedashi Tofu Recipe

My brother loves tofu. We used to have a running family joke that he would have to marry a tofu maker to satisfy his tofu cravings. He didn’t end up marrying a tofu-tiere, but his wife likes tofu well enough and they cook it a lot.

I, on the other hand, never cook tofu. It’s not because I don’t like it, because I do; I just happened to marry someone who thinks he’s allergic to it. Funny though, I didn’t see any allergy symptoms after he gobbled up the agedashi tofu I made.

Simple and fast, agedashi tofu is simply lightly floured tofu pan-fried until crisp and served with a sauce made of dashi, mirin and soy sauce. Crisp on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside, fried tofu is delicious! It’s wonderfully light and savoury and you can even feel a little bit good about eating something fried because it’s tofu. (Plus it’ll cure those tofu allergies!)

Agedashi Tofu Recipe

Ingredients

1 package soft tofu
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dashi
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin

oil for frying

Garnish: bonito flakes, green onions

Directions

1. Gently cut the soft tofu into 1″ cubes and arrange the cubes on paper towels to drain for at least 20 minutes. Make sure you flip the cubes and change the paper.
2. Mix the sauce ingredients and heat gently. Keep warm until your tofu is fried.
3. Heat oil to 355˚F for frying.
4. Lightly dredge the tofu pieces in the flour and add to the hot oil.
5. Fry until golden, turning once.
6. Remove and drain on paper towels.
7. Put the tofu in a dish, pour the warm sauce on and top with garnish if desired.
8. Enjoy immediately!

Notes:
- Draining the tofu helps it fry up crisp.
- You don’t need to immerse the tofu in the oil, the oil only needs to come up at the half-way point of the tofu.
- if you’ve never fried tofu before, you might be more comfortable using medium tofu as soft tofu is very delicate and falls apart easily.

26 Comments add yours

  1. I never cook tofu at home but this looks os easy I’l have to try it, thanks@!!

    Brad,
    Bacon and tofu go good together, give it a try!

    steph on March 10th, 2010 at 10:58 pm
  2. Love the simplicity and the clean flavors; the arrangement of the plating is great!

    I hear that using cornstarch (or potato starch) is the best way to make agedashi, like in the izakayas

    James,
    Potato starch gives you that crisp but slightly sticky/gummy texture that you get at izakayas, but I wanted a super-light coating so I went with flour. Traditionally they do use potato or cornstarch though.

    steph on March 10th, 2010 at 11:00 pm
  3. That looks phenomenal. I have an unnatural love of tofu. I can’t get enough of it.

    Max,
    You and my brother should be tofu buddies.
    :P

    steph on March 10th, 2010 at 11:01 pm
  4. Momofuku Ssam is my favorite place to eat in NY too, just after a totally different kind of experience at Eleven Madison Park. I learned to love tofu too traveling around Asia, and to be honest and release my guilt, I like it fried too.

    Have you thought about removing tofu and placing on wok rack. Allows dripping, air drying, and prevents sogginess. Works for me, just thought I would pass it on.

    Adam,
    Funny you should mention the wok rack, I was talking about getting one the other day!

    steph on March 11th, 2010 at 11:20 am
  5. Wow!! I LOVE tofu and Agedashi Tofu is a favourite!! will be trying this recipe with a vegetarian dashi!! Yum!!

    Trudy,
    Mmm…vegetarian dashi is good!

    steph on March 11th, 2010 at 7:18 pm
  6. !!!

    I used to get this Sesame Bean Curd dish at the local Chinese take-out joint when I lived in Brooklyn, and have never been able to reproduce the fried tofu, partly because the sauce never stuck correctly to it. But I never ever thought of flouring the tofu. I’m going to have to run out and get some tofu to try this!

    Daniel,
    Mmm, I think sesame crusted tofu fried up would be delicious!

    steph on March 13th, 2010 at 10:13 am
  7. I was never a fan of tofu until I found this recipe, thanks!

    Patty,
    Tofu is delicious!

    steph on March 13th, 2010 at 10:15 am
  8. This brings a whole new level to tofu. Thanks for posting.

    No problem, I love spreading tofu love!

    steph on March 29th, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    I was never a tofu fan either! But I think its growing on me and my husband.. its taken him more time to ‘love it’ though ;)

    Susan on July 28th, 2011 at 1:09 pm
  9. I used this method last night for 120 1″ cubes of tofu and they were fantastic. Tasted just like the ones I recently had in LA. Once you’ve done a large batch, put a serving in a plastic bag or container and freeze, then microwave when you want some quick tofu (can also be crisped on one of those revolving counter-top pizza ovens.

  10. I’ve always used cornstarch instead of flour to coat tofu as it gives it a much crispier texture. Some recipes call for Potato starch even but have yet to try that.

  11. hi,

    I don’t know if this sounds a rather stupid question but which kind of flour are you using? :P

  12. Where can you find vegetarian dashi?

  13. I had a similar dish at En last night
    they do their version with some mushrooms- awesome

  14. Was inspired by a friends mother who makes agedashi with roasted baby eggplant, tofu, and head-on prawns so I went on line and found this easy to make recipe.
    The trick, I found, is getting the best natural Kombu to make the dashi with, and I add some gobo (burdock root) to add an earthiness to it. I tried both regular flour and potato starch and found that potato starch is definitely the way to go to get that authentic texture. Lots of fun and thanks for all of the advice and comments :)

    jason Ruppert on March 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm
  15. Yum! I made this yesterday with a little soy sauce (didn’t have dashi though)and it was so good. Thanks for the recipe!

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