Japanese Tofu in Chinese Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce

This is similar to a Japanese dish called Agedashi Tofu (beancurd is tofu in Japanese, dofu in Mandarin Chinese). It is usually served in Japanese restaurants with a dashi broth (made with dried bonito fish flakes and konbu, a variety of kelp). My version has a different dip using light soy sauce, mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine), toasted sesame seeds, chilies and a sprinkle of sugar. This makes a simple but elegant appetizer. The Chinese ingredient here is glutinous rice flour, used to give a crunchy brown coating to the tofu. Try to buy fresh tofu, available from Chinese supermarkets, as nothing beats fresh.

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 oz firm silken tofu, cut into 1 in squares
  • glutinous rice flour for dusting
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 1 sheet nori, finely shredded

For the Dipping Sauce

  • 8 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon toasted black and white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 small red chili, seeded and finely chopped

Method

  1. Dip the tofu cubes into the rice flour making sure each one is well coated.
  2. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. Shallow fry the tofu, in batches if necessary, turning them over carefully to ensure they are golden on all sides. Drain the excess oil on kitchen paper.
  3. Mix together the sauce ingredients.
  4. Place the fried tofu on a serving plate, sprinkle with nori pieces and serve with the sesame dipping sauce.

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