Agedashi Style Tofu Bites

These crispy tofu bites take inspiration from one of our favourite Japanese dishes, Agedashi Tofu. Traditionally, tofu is simply fried in potato flour, and the real star of the dish is dashi - the broth (and we argue that the toppings help too). The dashi broth is rich, flavoursome with a hint of sweetness. Dashi is usually made with fish, but you can buy or make vegan versions. In this recipe, we’ve used one from Japan Centre, Shimaya Kelp Dashi Stock Powder. This recipe also makes use of some of your favourite Japanese ingredients and cupboard staples like tamari, mirin, seaweed flakes and tofu.

The other key to agedashi tofu is, of course, the tofu. Getting gloriously crisp, but soft tofu is crucial. You want firm or extra firm (definitely not silken) like this one from Japan Centre, House Firm Premier Tofu and you’ll then need to press out some, but not all of the liquid as you want the inside to remain soft. We livened up our crispy coating with a few extras, crushed sesame seeds, dashi stock powder and seaweed flakes—to make a furikake-like coating. For the seaweed flakes, we used what we already had indoors, but you could use something like the Mishima Takikomi Wakame Rice Seasoning Flakes. For links to some of the other staple products that we used, have a look at our post on our 5 vegan staples from earlier in the week.

There’s nothing quite as moreish as crispy fried tofu and a good dipping sauce and after you try these, we think you’ll agree.

 

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • ¼  tsp seaweed flakes
  • ½  tsp sesame seeds, crushed
  • ½   tsp vegan dashi stock powder
  • 3 tablespoon potato flour

Dipping sauce

  • 2 ½  tbsp mirin
  • 3 ½  tbsp tamari
  • 2  tsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Good Pinch dashi stock powder

Method

  • Cut the tofu in 2cm cubes, cover with kitchen roll or a tea towel to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
  • Mix together the flakes, seeds, stock powder and flour. Fill a frying pan or wok with about 4 cm of oil and place over a high heat.
  • Toss the tofu in flour and spice mixture, making sure that it all sides are coated and shaking off any excess.
  • When the oil is hot, add a few pieces of the tofu at a time, taking care that these don’t stick together and fry until lightly golden, flipping to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove from oil once cooked and drain on kitchen roll.
  • Whilst the tofu cools, add the ingredients for the dipping sauce into a small saucepan and bring to the boil for a minute or two. Switch off the heat and pour the sauce into a bowl.
  • Put the tofu bites on a serving plate and garnish with finely sliced spring onion and a pinch of chilli flakes, if you wish. Serve with the sauce on the side.