Crispy deep-fried tofu served in a flavorful umami sauce, Agedashi Tofu is a popular appetizer you can find at izakaya and Japanese restaurants. It requires deep-frying, but the process is easier than you think. Skip the bonito flakes to make it vegan-friendly!
Agedashi Tofu (揚げ出し豆腐) is soft tofu coated with potato starch and deep-fried so that the outer shell is crispy. It is typically served with grated daikon, katsuobushi (bonito flakes), scallion, and grated ginger on top. Then Tsuyu (sauce) made of dashi, mirin, and soy sauce is poured over the toppings and soaks the tofu to enhance its flavor. If you like spicy, you can add shichimi togarashi to spice up the taste.
This unique appetizer is crispy on the outside and creamy and soft inside. Soaked in the savory sauce, the combination tastes amazing! This light yet savory dish is served piping hot, so be careful not to burn yourself.
Agedashi tofu is a popular appetizer menu at Izakayas and Japanese restaurants. It is actually not difficult to make if you don’t mind deep frying. Sometimes it’s hard to believe a delicious dish like this is easy and simple to make at home yourself.
My family loves tofu dishes but my son especially is crazy about agedashi tofu. This is one of his favorite tofu dishes that I make for him along with Mapo Tofu.
- 1 block medium-firm tofu (momen dofu) (14 oz, 397 g; if this is your first time making this dish, use medium-firm tofu instead of the soft silken variety since it's easier to cook without breaking; if you prefer a silky texture, give silken tofu a try once you're more comfortable making Agedashi Tofu)
- 4 Tbsp potato starch or cornstarch
- 2-3 cups neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc.)
For the Sauce
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Place the tofu block on a plate. Wrap the tofu in 2-3 layers of paper towels and place another plate on top. Drain the water out of the tofu for 15 minutes.
- Peel and grate the daikon and gently squeeze most of the water out, keeping some moisture (I use this grater now and love it). Cut the green onion into thin slices.
- Put the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Remove the paper towels from the tofu and cut it into 8 pieces.
- Heat the oil to 350ºF (175ºC) in a deep fryer or medium saucepan. Coat the tofu pieces with the potato starch, dusting off any excess starch, and immediately deep-fry until they turn light brown and crispy. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, and deep-fry in batches if needed.
- Remove the tofu and place on a wire rack or a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
- To serve, place the tofu in individual serving bowls. Gently pour in the sauce at the edge of the bowl without wetting the top of the tofu. Garnish with grated daikon, green onions, katsuobushi, and shichimi togarashi.
- You can keep the leftover sauce and fried tofu separately in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 13, 2011 and has been updated with new pictures/video and revised recipe instructions.