Learn how to make this delicious Japanese side dish popular in most Izakaya-style Japanese restaurants. This dish features light and airy deep-fried tofu served in a flavorful Tsuyu broth and topped with crispy and fresh toppings. Our Agedashi Tofu recipe is vegan-friendly.
What is Agedashi Tofu?
Agedashi tofu is a Japanese dish that is considered a light dish or appetizer. It consists of cubes of silken tofu that are lightly fried in vegetable oil and then served hot in a savory dashi broth.
The tofu is coated in potato starch before frying, which gives it a crispy outer crust. When placed in the broth, the tofu absorbs some of the umami flavors from the broth’s ingredients. The name “agedashi” comes from the Japanese words “ageru” meaning to fry, and “dashi” referring to the savory broth.
Agedashi tofu is commonly found in izakaya-style restaurants in Japan. Its light components make it a perfect starter or small dish. Traditionally, this dish is not vegan, as it contains dashi made with fish ingredients and bonito flakes for toppings.
For our Agedashi, we use a shiitake-based dashi, and we substitute the bonito flakes for fried shallots, to add that lovely crispiness. This makes our dish vegan-friendly.
Our Agedashi Tofu is:
- A Japanese-style dish
- A side dish or appetizer
- rico en umami
- Fácil de hacer
How to make Agedashi Tofu at home
Agedashi Tofu is made with simple ingredients. If you don't have any of these ingredients, we provide some substitutes for you to be able to cook this classic dish.
Soft tofu. Agedashi tofu needs to be light. Using firmer tofu will make your coating and frying process easier, but once cooked, it won't feel as light as using soft tofu. By soft tofu, I don't mean tofu sedoso. Soft Tofu is a bit firmer, and you should be able to cut it and coat it without it breaking. Make sure to remove any excess water before cooking. You can do this by wrapping the tofu in kitchen paper towels and gently pressing it, or using a prensa de tofu.
Potato starch. This type of starch is the nicest to use for Agedashi tofu. It makes the coating extra airy and you get a nice crispy deep-fried tofu. Otherwise, you can use tapioca flour, rice flour, potato flour, corn flour, corn starch, or arrowroot powder. If you have regular all purpose flour at home, you can use it too.
Vegan dashi. For our vegan dashi, we make a shiitake stock. You can also, add kombu, which is something we have done before and loved the result, but kombu is not always available for most people, so we kept the recipe a bit simpler. You'll need hongos shiitake secos for this plant-based dashi stock. Another option is to get store-bought vegan dashi.
Light soy sauce and mirin. These two ingredients combined with our vegan dashi make a perfect Tsuyu, the umami-rich broth that the tofu is served in. You can use tamari instead of soy sauce for a gluten-free option. You can find mirin in Asian grocery stores.
Coberturas For our recipe, we use crispy fried shallots, finely sliced spring onions, and grated daikon radish. These three elements will give a fantastic final touch to your Agedashi Tofu.
Deep-frying oil. Use a deep-frying vegetable oil such as sunflower, or canola oil.
Método paso a paso
- Prepare vegan dashi by soaking shiitake mushrooms in warm water. Allow them to soak for at least 15-20 minutes. Once ready, gently squeeze out excess water from the shiitake mushrooms and strain the stock through a fine sieve to remove small particles or impurities from the dashi.
- Prepare the Tsuyu by combining the shiitake dashi, soy sauce, and mirin in a small pot. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, let the broth cook for 2-3 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Season with a pinch of salt, and if desired, add a little sugar, ensuring it dissolves before serving. Set aside.
- Cut your tofu block into 2 or 3 medium-sized square pieces. You can cut it into smaller cubes if serving this dish to more people. Coat the tofu thoroughly with potato starch, ensuring an even and well-coated surface. Use a baking brush to remove any excess coating, including small lumps, for a smoother finish.
- Add vegetable oil to a small frying pan and heat it to medium heat. Before introducing the tofu, ensure the oil is hot enough. To test, add some green onion and check for bubbling. Carefully place the tofu in the hot oil, allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes. You can deep-fry or shallow fry the tofu pieces. The goal is a crispy coating without the tofu getting golden brown. Ensure even cooking by turning the tofu to cook on all sides. When the tofu is ready, place it on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
- Transfer the crispy tofu to a serving bowl. For Agedashi Tofu, we like using a small bowl. Gently, add the Tsuyu.
- Prepare your toppings by finely slicing green onion, and shredding daikon radish. For our recipe, we use store-bought fried shallots. Using your hands, squeeze out the water from the daikon radish, and make a round shape. Place on top of the deep-fried tofu cubes, together with crispy shallots, and green onions.
Variations to our Agedashi Tofu
If you don't want to deep-fry the tofu, you can air-fry or bake the tofu. Deep frying the tofu can seem a bit overwhelming or unhealthy to some people, so we want to provide you with some alternatives. To freír al aire the tofu, use the same coating method, and using an oil spray, evenly add some vegetable oil to your coated tofu. Place in an air-fryer basket and fry for 12-15 minutes at 200C or 390F. According to Wander Cooks, you can add more oil halfway through the cooking, and flip the tofu pieces 2 minutes before taking the pieces out. If you prefer to hornear the tofu, follow esta receta to ensure a crispy baked tofu.
Make gluten-free Agedashi. The main ingredient that needs substituting is soy sauce. You can use tamari or liquid aminos. You want to make sure the potato starch is gluten-free, and has no flour added (it shouldn't).
Change or add toppings. In my opinion, the toppings are one of the highlights of this dish. Customize them according to your taste. We particularly enjoy the addition of these three elements for a balance of crispiness and freshness. Additionally, consider enhancing the dish with sesame seeds, freshly grated ginger, toasted coconut flakes, or a drizzle of chili oil, or shichimi togarashi for a spicy kick.
Sugerencias para servir
Agedashi tofu is commonly enjoyed as a light appetizer or side dish. When serving for two, we like serving it in a shared bowl. For larger gatherings, we suggest serving it in individual smaller bowls to ensure everyone enjoys their portion.
Traditionally, Agedashi tofu is served in individual bowls, drizzled with warm Tsuyu sauce or broth, and garnished with finely chopped green onions and grated daikon radish. Additionally, we add some fried shallots to extra crunchiness to each bite.
If you want to serve Agedashi Tofu as a side, consider one of these meals as your main:
For a healthier option, consider air-frying the Tofu and serving it on a bed of greens such as spinach or arugula. Drizzle the Tsuyu sauce over the tofu and greens, and add extra toppings like sesame seeds or toasted nuts for texture.
You can also, customize this dish into a noodle bowl. Add your Agedashi Tofu to a noodle bowl. Place the tofu on a bed of udon or soba noodles, and ladle hot broth over it. Top with sliced green onions, shredded nori, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
You can use your leftover Tsuyu to make a quick and delicious ramen. Cook ramen noodles, and serve with the leftover Tsuyu, and your favorite toppings.
Preguntas frecuentes y consejos
Why is Agedashi Tofu traditionally not Vegan?
Agedashi Tofu is served on a Tsuyu (broth) made with dashi. This umami-rich dashi normally is made from bonito flakes and kombu. Other dashi variations include other fish products. Our dashi is made from shiitake and optionally, you can add kombu. As well, traditionally, Agedashi Tofu is topped with crispy bonito flakes.
Can I make Agedashi Tofu ahead of time?
Agedashi Tofu is best served fresh to maintain the crispy texture. However, you can prepare the toppings ahead of time, and cook the Tsuyu. When ready to serve, simply fry the tofu, heat up the Tsuyu, and assemble your dish.
Can I reheat leftover Agedashi Tofu?
Once cooked, we don't recommend reheating the deep fried tofu. Reheating may affect the crispiness of the tofu, but using an oven or air fryer at a low temperature can help get that fresh texture back.
Is dashi Vegan?
Depends on the type of dashi. You can find or make vegan dashi which is mushroom or kombu-based. Other types of dashi may contain fish products.
- 3-4 hongos shiitake secos
- 1 taza agua tibia
- 2 cebolla verde
- 2 inches daikon radish
- A puñado crispy onions or shallots
- 2 cucharada mirin
- 2 cucharada salsa de soja
- ½ cucharilla azúcar Opcional
- ¼ cucharilla sal
- 250 gramo tofu Soft or Medium
- 4 cucharada almidón de patata
Elaboración paso a paso
- Soak the dried shiitake in the warm water for about 15-20 minutes.
- While the shiitake mushrooms are soaking, we recommend preparing your toppings ahead, so they are ready for serving while the tofu is warm. Finely slice the green onions, and peel and grate the daikon radish.
- Squeeze out the water form the daikon radish using your hands and make a round shape.
- Once the shiitake dashi is ready, gently squeeze out excess water from the shiitake mushrooms and strain the stock through a fine sieve to remove small particles or impurities from the mushrooms.
- Prepare the Tsuyu by combining the shiitake dashi, soy sauce, and mirin in a small pot.
- Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, let the broth cook for 2-3 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Season with a pinch of salt, and if desired, add a little sugar, ensuring it dissolves before serving. Set aside.
- Remove any excess water from the tofu block. You can do this by wrapping it in a paper towel and gently applying some pressure.
- Cut your tofu block into 2 or 3 medium-sized square pieces. You can cut it into smaller cubes if serving this dish to more people.
- Coat the tofu thoroughly with potato starch, ensuring an even and well-coated surface. Use a baking brush to remove any excess coating, including small lumps, for a smoother finish.
- Add vegetable oil to a small frying pan and heat it to medium heat.
- When the oil is hot enough, carefully place the tofu, allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes. The goal is a crispy coating without browning. Ensure even cooking by turning the tofu to cook on all sides.
- When the tofu is ready, place it on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.
- Transfer the crispy tofu to a serving bowl and pour the Tsuyu.
- Garnish the tofu with the daikon radish, green onions, and crispy shallots. Serve and enjoy.
- If you want to add some spicy, you can add chili flakes, or chili oil.