FLAVOR PROFILE: Savory, light, and traditional
MOOD: A freshly purchased 12/10 Japanese Pantry Kit / transitioning into a vegetarian diet / cooking for mom
Silken / Soft Tofu
3 pcs Konbu (if you have the Japanese Pantry Kit — otherwise, cut konbu sheet into 2½” x 2” pieces)
½ cup Katsuobushi
3 pcs Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
3-4 pcs Niboshi
½ cup Soy Sauce
½ cup Mirin
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
Canola Oil (for frying)
Options for garnish: Radish (grated), Ginger (grated / pickled), Negi / Scallions (chopped / julienne), Nori, Katsuobushi, Shichimi
Begin by opening your pack of tofu and draining the liquid. Pat tofu dry with a paper towel / magu roll and slice into 1½” cubes. (We usually cut a standard 300g pack of tofu into 9 cubes.)
To make dashi, combine 4 cups of water and konbu in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Remove pan from the heat and discard konbu. Add the katsuobushi, dried shiitake, and niboshi; let the infusion sit / soak for another 10-15 minutes, then strain to extract dashi stock. (For a vegan recipe, you may skip on the niboshi and katsuobushi.)
To complete the agedashi sauce, combine 1½ cup of dashi with the soy sauce, mirin, and brown sugar in a saucepan; then simmer over low heat until well-incorporated. Make sure the sauce doesn’t reduce or thicken too much.
In a pan for deep / shallow frying, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Lightly coat the tofu cubes evenly in potato starch, then fry on all sides until crust is pale gold. (Potato starch will not brown as much and will result in a more pale / white coating. If you want a more golden brown crust, you can use or add cornstarch / flour.) Once ready, remove the fried tofu from the pan and set on a wire rack or a paper towel-lined tray to rest and to let excess oils drip.
Transfer the fried tofu cubes to a deep plate, then pour agedashi sauce. Finish with your toppings / garnish of choice and enjoy!