March 06, 2012: Age Dashi Dofu

March 6, 2012

This is one of my all-time favorite Japanese dishes, and it was high time I’ve put down a formal recipe for my version of Age Dashi Dofu. Restaurants make a dashi (stock) with bonito flakes and top Age Dashi Dofu with more bonito flakes. Mine is unusual that, as a vegetarian for many years, I exclude the bonito flakes entirely. I also add…well…untraditional veggies that I’ve never seen in a restaurant. I think it makes my dish more visually appealing, and less “fishy” than the traditional, but readers should be aware that my version is NOT a classic Age Dashi Dofu!

I won’t repeat my version of Vegetarian Dashi, as I have posted it a couple of times now, most recently in my “Grilled Eggplant Soup” (02.22.12) recipe. I made my “Fox Noodles” Dish (01.25.12) for Teja and the girls this weekend and Teja (who was raised in Japan) said my dashi should actually NOT be considered a real dashi, as I exclude the bonito flakes. He said that it lacked the “strength” of a classic dashi.

Fried Tofu:  Wash a block of firm tofu and press under a weight and a plate on a slanted board in the sink. The object is to remove as much H2O as you can. Cut the block into quarters. Double-roll each piece in potato or corn starch. [What I mean by “double-roll” is roll the pieces of tofu once in the starch, wait a few seconds, then roll again.] Remove rolled pieces to another plate (if you leave it in the starch, the remaining moisture in the tofu will turn you starch into glue.) Fry each piece in a pan, over medium-high heat in corn oil. Turn pieces to cook all sides. Transfer to a paper towel. Cool at room temperature.

Wash, and remove ends of four scallions. Separate white from green parts. Slice green part of scallion 1/4″. Skin and matchstick a carrot. Finely dice mild peppers. Toast 1/2 sheet nori and crumble. These are your veggie toppings.

When dashi approaches a boil, put white part of scallion in dashi for a couple of minutes. Place tofu in a bowl and cover with dashi. Top with veggies. Serve. Delicious with warm sake.


One comment

  1. Mmmm. . .age dashi tofu is one of my favorite dishes! I got my coworkers hooked on the stuff (made with bonito stock). I’ll have to try your version out, though.

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