Tofu is one of those food items that either people love or hate. I personally don't mind it, as long as its supporting co-stars (the sauce and other spices) are doing its job in making the tofu shine!
While I don't typically like go out to restaurants and order tofu willingly, I will do it if it's agedashi tofu (which can be found at most Japanese restaurants). I love the warm broth that is so comforting and complimentary to the tofu's silky texture.
Surprisingly, this appetizer is something you can easily make at home. The only semi-intricate part is making the dashi sauce (if you so choose to make this at home). Here's an example recipe from Just One Cookbook. Otherwise, you can try to find a pre-made version at your local Japanese market.
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min (*does not include time to make homemade dashi)
Yields: 4 servings
1 package of extra firm tofu (14 oz)
6 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup dashi sauce (store-bought or homemade)
Example recipe from Just One Cookbook
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Mirin (Japanese cooking wine)
4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
~3 tbsp bonito flakes
Pinch of sea salt
Green onions or microgreens (minced) (for garnish)
Place tofu on a plate with thick paper towels to soak up excess water from the package.
Cut block of tofu into 4 smaller rectangles (or other preferred sizes).
In a shallow bowl, add cornstarch.
In a frying pan, add oil in (about 1/2 inch high) on medium high heat.
Once oil is hot, dredge tofu into the cornstarch and carefully place in the pan. Let sit for about 5-8 minutes (or until the bottom half is nice and golden). Flip tofu and repeat on the other side for another 5-8 minutes (or until the bottom half is nice and golden).
While tofu is frying, you can start on the sauce. Add dashi broth, water, Mirin and soy sauce in a small sauce pan. Stir ingredients together. Add additional soy sauce for saltier taste, or add water to dilute saltiness. Bring to a boil, then turn off stove.
Once tofu is nice and fried, transfer to a new plate with paper towel to soak up excess oil. Lightly sprinkle with sea salt, then transfer to serving bowls.
Pour sauce over the tofu in the serving bowls (soaking them about half way).
Add green onions or microgreens as garnish. Add bonito flakes and serve immediately.