Very fresh silken tofu
Daikon (Chinese white radish)
Fresh ginger
Oil for deep frying
Shoyu (soy sauce)
Mirin (Japanese sweet cooking wine)
Wasabi – powdered or in a tube.
Dried ginger powder

Make the sauce first. Use sensei’s recipe, An Easy Way to Make Not-so-good Food Much Better. You will need perhaps a quarter cup for each serving of tofu. Then prepare the following ingredients, but don’t combine them: Cut green scallions into thin, thin rounds. Grate daikon and squeeze it to remove excess water. Cut ginger into thin matchsticks.

You will need fresh, fresh silken tofu and I have found that the best place to find this is in Chinatown. Rinse and then cut the tofu into 1.5 inch cubes and blot with a paper towel to remove excess water. Cover a platter with paper towel and place the cubes of tofu on this in a single layer. Cover the bottom of a plate with cornstarch, leaving the box out in case you need more. Prepare a flat platter with paper towels to turn the tofu onto after it is deep fried.

Poor enough oil into a pot, wok, or electric deep fryer to fill it to a depth of about three inches and begin heating it.

While the oil is heating, coat the tofu in corn starch, turning it several times to make sure that it is completely covered. When the oil is hot enough, begin adding the tofu. It is best to test the oil by adding a small piece of tofu. Small bubbles should form around it immediately and it should float. When oil is not heated to a high enough temperature, food absorbs it. When the temperature is right, outer surfaces are immediately sealed when lowered into the oil and the food does not absorb it further. Turn the tofu several times and cook it until the outside is golden brown. Then remove it and place it on paper towels.

Place the cooked cubes of tofu in individual bowls. Pour a generous amount of the sauce over it. Sprinkle a few ginger matchsticks on top of it and then garnish with the cut scallions and a small mound of shredded daikon. Agadashi tofu is wonderful. The outside of the tofu has a slightly crunchy texture, while the inside is creamy. And the sauce is perfect with it. Daikon is served with deep-fried dishes as an aid to digestion.

There is also an excellent recipe entitled Agedashi Tofu written by sensei.

Ha ha ha!
I love this stuff!

What You Need
1 cake soft silken tofu (NOT pressed)
2 TB kudzu/potato starch/cornstarch
oil for deep-frying
3/4 cup light, unsalted vegetable stock or dashi
1 TB shoyu (soy sauce)
1 TB mirin
2 TB scallion, finely chopped
2 TB finely minced ginger
2 TB grated daikon radish

What Now?
Mix the stock, shoy, and mirin together for the sauce. Bring to a boil and then just keep it hot.

Heat the oil to 180deg C or 350deg F and spread the kudzu on a plate.

Please DON'T press the tofu first--the moisture should be sealed in by the coating. Cut the tofu into four squares, pat two of them very dry with paper towels, roll them gently in the kudzu to cover all surfaces well, gently nudge off the excess, and slide them straight into the hot oil. Keep them turning and fry them for about 7 minutes until they're golden and crispy. Have the next two ready to go when you take the first batch out (very carefully, with a wide strainer). Drain on paper towels.

One serving is two cakes with a nice pile of scallion, ginger, and daikon on top, with the sauce poured over or served in a separate bowl as a dip.


Here is another great recipe by Jinmyo called Agadashi tofu.

As someone who has only made this dish twice, you may or may not consider me qualified to make...

Comments on Preparation:

  1. Cut the silken tofu into bite-sized pieces rather than quarters for these reasons:
    1. Silken tofu tends to fall apart when you're trying to manipulate large chunks of it.
    2. The crust of the fried tofu will be difficult to cut with a spoon, so you'll end up eating the gooey insides and then having to deal with the skin.
    3. Smaller pieces cook faster.
  2. Don't use the cornstarch for these reasons:
    1. It doesn't stick to the tofu evenly.
    2. It cooks faster than the surface of tofu.
    3. If you didn't do a perfect job of patting the tofu dry, soon you'll have a cornstarch and water mixture all over the place.
    4. This dish is just as good without it.
  3. Don't put that much ginger in, sensei is a nutcase.
  4. Feel free to use chicken stock if you don't have vegetable stock available.
  5. Put some wasabi powder in the sauce (before you heat it, or it'll clump). Why? Because sensei told us to!

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