Monday, September 29, 2008

Quick Fix #4 Age-dofu

As much as I love to cook & talk about it, I’m a little disheartened to think that cooking has really become soooo “daily” ever since the new school year started. I really just end up scrambling to make the simplest meals possible to keep up with the school time/potty time/laundry time etc…
Somehow making a double batch of coconut curry or chicken adobo (excess for lunch the next day), or the ultra simple meals like tofu/moyashi itame or parmasean chicken seem less cool then trying out new & daring recipes. I can’t even remember the last time I baked a pie.

Till then, I thought I’d give you an ultra simple tofu recipe, which all you Jap-japs will roll your eyes at me over. “Who doesn’t know how to make Age-DOFU?”. Well, shush & move along then!

I don’t know if you know this about me but I DO NOT CARE FOR DEEP FRYING. So this age-dofu is a real display of my undying love for my children, they just love it. Though every time I make it I remember how easy & deliciouly simple it is.

So here goes, You’re gonna need some tofu. If you’re brave enough to try kinugoshi-dofu (silk) tofu, (left) instead of momen-dofu (cotton) type (on the right) then be prepared for a royal mess, esp if it’s cheap tofu. (Though the taste is much more soft & subtle.) I prefer momen for age-dofu as it’s much easier to handle. Leave it to drain on a cake rack or something for at least ½ an hr. This is a step you don’t want to forget unless you like getting “oil splatted”.
So here’s your tofu chopped up into thirds or fourths. (this tofu pack was longer than the “standard” type)
Next you’ll need katakuriko (potato starch). The result is a much more crunchy crust, less fine of a covering than cornstarch & a really nice texture even when softened by tsuyu. But in a fix I’m sure cornstarch will do OK. And of course behind that is........our VAT of oil! (God, have Mercy! I just wanna dive in! Grrr!!) Now coat the tofu with the katakuriko. Not rocket science, eh? My only tip is, have your oil ready. Don’t leave the tofu too long on any surface after coating or the starch will absorb the liquid in the tofu & stick to whatever you put it on.
Don’t expect it to be a tidy process, but using hands is always fun. Tongs or hashi are out of the question.
Yes, I’m aware potatoes & tofu don’t go together. So, I was multi tasking! Like I said I don’t deep fry often so I was trying to make the most of it. I even made donuts the next day. Heat should be medium. And be patient cuz’ it’ll take about 10 min per side. Turn it over when it’s golden brown & crispy. Well, I don’t have a great picture of the end result, it was a "Chaos-lunch" day...but regardless, take it from me….Great eating & MUST BE EATEN HOT!! The steam from the inside can turn the crust into a rather unpleasant “gummy” texture on the bottom if you leave it too long.

Now lets talk toppings.

I personally think, daikon oroshi (grated daikon) & tsuyu on top are best for deep fried tofu. Please, don't just dump shoyu on it if you can help it. But there are so many toppings that you can put on age-dofu, or fresh tofu for that matter. (saving for another post)

If I had to choose my top 3 it would be: shiso, daikon & ko-negi (beefsteak/giant radish/chives).

............And that'll be the last deep frying for a long time God willing. Though there is a bit of an itch to make beer battered onion rings somewhere back there.

Till all the cows come home from the pasture, Later!

1 comment:

nina said...

But I like coconut curry!

And I think your step-by-step photos r wonderful; a picture's worth a thousand words (altho' the words do help explain things)!