Before I visited Japan I never thought much of agedashi – it was either too oily or the stock was bland. But after enjoying the real deal, I finally understood what the fuss was about. Making dashi stock is SO worth the effort and will transform this dish. Silken tofu is traditional, but it’s very tricky to coat in cornflour without breaking up. Medium-firm tofu works better and still produces a creamy result.
Wrap the tofu in a clean tea towel. Place a tray on top and weigh down with something heavy like tins or a pan. Leave for 20 minutes to press, changing the tea towel if necessary to remove as much water as possible.
In a saucepan, simmer the soy sauce, mirin and dashi together. Keep the sauce warm.
Heat the oil in a wok or deep medium saucepan until it reaches 180–190°C (350–375°F) or when a small piece of bread instantly sizzles. Slice the tofu into 12 squares and coat with the cornflour. Deep fry half the cubes for a few minutes until pale golden, then remove and drain on a rack or paper towels. Repeat with the remaining cubes.
Place three pieces of tofu in each of four small bowls and pour the sauce over. Top with spring onion, chilli and grated ginger. Sprinkle with the nori and serve immediately.
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