I save a lot of recipes that I find online—so many that I have to purge my computer folder every few months to clear out the one- and two-hit wonders. But this Agedashi Tofu recipe has been in my kitchen rotation for at least six years.
If you’ve never had the immense pleasure, Agedashi Tofu is a popular appetizer in Japanese restaurants. It features triangular pillows of tofu that are coated and fried, making them crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The tofu is served in a rich, salty-sweet broth of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin, a Japanese rice wine that magically makes everything taste good. The best part: it takes less than 20 minutes to make.
- Mirin is widely available in most local grocery stores, in the Asian or international-foods section.
- Dashi, which you can order cheaply online if it’s not available in your favorite market, comes in a vegetarian version, called kombu dashi; the regular version has fish. (I also skip the bonito flakes.)
- The author of the recipe says that Japanese seven spice, or shichimi togarashi, is optional, but I beg to differ. If you can’t find the real deal, the stuff sold as “Asian spice” in most grocery stores will do in a pinch.
Beverage suggestion: Green tea.
Robin Catalano believes in the power of storytelling to connect communities and cultures. She’s applied her creative approach to writing for magazines, books, blogs, websites, and a wide variety of marketing projects, and has published more than 75 articles and 1,000+ blog posts. As an editor, she has worked on more than 350 books for publishers including Penguin Random House, Workman, and Simon & Schuster. She has also served as a book coach for independent authors, helping them take their ideas from concept to print. An avid traveler and travel writer, Robin lives, reads, and writes voraciously in upstate NY.