Because tofu doesn't have much flavor on its own, the keys to great agedashi tofu are technique and the quality of the dashi. While it comes out of the fryer crisp, the coating on the tofu is there to soak up the sauce, so don't be afraid of saturating it with dashi.
Servings: 4 small servings
- 400 grams (14 oz) soft tofu
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1 1/2 cups dashi
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 140 grams (5 oz) daikon, peeled, grated, and drained
- 1 scallion, chopped
- Drain the tofu and slice into quarters, so you have four blocks. Sprinkle all sides of the tofu with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and set it on a mesh tray or sieve to drain off any excess liquid for 20-30 minutes.
- While you wait for the tofu to drain, add the dashi, soy sauce, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat.
- When you're ready to fry the tofu, add 1 1/2 to 2 inches of vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pot that's large enough to accommodate all of the tofu and preheat to 360°F (180°C).
- Prepare a wire rack lined with a triple layer of paper towels to transfer the tofu to when it's done frying. Add the potato starch to a small bowl.
- When the oil is up to temperature, dry the tofu off well using paper towels and then roll each block in the potato starch to coat evenly on every side. Dust off the excess starch and gently lower each block of tofu into the oil.
- Fry the tofu until the crust is nice and crisp, turning them over a few times to ensure they crisp evenly. The tofu is done when crispy on all sides, but the coating should still be pale in color. Transfer to the prepared rack and let it drain for a few moments before plating each block of tofu into a small bowl.
- Reheat the dashi if necessary. Top the tofu with the scallions and a small mound of daikon, and then pour the hot dashi over everything.