Agedashi Tofu is a simple and delicious side dish. The outside has a soft and gooey texture and the tasty broth makes it impossible for anyone to resist it. This is especially popular among Izakaya-style restaurants.
Let's prepare the firm tofu. Cut the tofu in half. Wrap each block of tofu with a paper towel and let it sit on the plate for 30 minutes in order to remove the excess water.
Let's prepare the toppings. Trim off the stem ends of the shishito peppers. Make a small cut in each shishito pepper in order to prevent it from bursting in the frying oil.
Peel the daikon radish with a peeler. Grate the daikon radish.
Scrape the ginger with a spoon. Grate the ginger with a grater. Peeling the daikon and ginger before grating will bring out the beautiful colors and make the dish more aesthetically appealing.
Let's make the broth for Agedashi Tofu. Pour the mirin in a small pot and turn on the burner. Boil down the broth until all the alcohol has evaporated. You should not be able to smell any of the alcohol. Add the dashi stock and soy sauce to the mirin. When the broth boils again, turn off the burner.
After removing the excess water, unwrap the tofu. Cut each block of the tofu into 3 pieces. Thoroughly wipe off the excess water with a paper towel.
Place the tofu on the baking sheet that is generously covered with potato starch. Dip the tofu in potato starch until it is completely coated. Remove the excess starch with a pastry brush.
Drop the potato starch in the heated oil in order to check the heat. The temperature should be around 170°C (340°F). When the potato starch floats with a sizzling sound, gently place the tofu in the deep pot.
Fry the tofu until the surface becomes crispy and lightly colored, then flip the tofu over.
When the Agedashi Tofu is cooked evenly, drain well and place the tofu on a cooling rack.
Next, deep-fry the shishito peppers. Make sure to deep fry quickly. Drain well and place them on the cooking rack.
Preheat the broth and serve the three pieces of the Agedashi Tofu in a dish. Dip the agedashi tofu in the hot broth.
Squeeze out any excess water from the grated daikon radish. Put the grated ginger on top of the tofu and finally garnish the dish with the shishito peppers. You can also sprinkle shichimi chili pepper on top of the grated daikon.
A tip to make delicious Agedashi Tofu is to fry immediately after they are coated with potato starch. If the starch becomes too damp with the tofu's moisture, the coating will easily come off the tofu.
This recipe is best served pipping hot, so please enjoy the agedashi tofu as soon as possible.
To make the nanban sauce, combine the sugar, soy sauce and the vinegar. Adding the dried red chili pepper will give the sauce a little bit of kick. Make sure to dissolve the sugar thoroughly.
Let’s make the tartar sauce. Add the salt to the chopped onion and rub it in. Rinse the onion and thoroughly squeeze out the excess water using a paper towel. Add it to the mayonnaise in a bowl.
Using an egg slicer, cut half of the boiled egg into fine pieces.
Add the egg to the mayonnaise. Add the chopped pickle to the mixture.
Mix it with a spatula and then pour in the milk. Season with the salt and the pepper. Combine the tartar sauce evenly.
Let’s prepare the chicken breast. Peel the skin off the chicken.
Using kitchen shears will help to remove the skin. Trim off the excess fat. Remove the excess moisture thoroughly with a paper towel.
Slice off the thin part of the chicken. Then, slice the rest of the chicken into 5 pieces, cutting at an angle. Make sure that each piece has about the same thickness.
In a cooking tray, sprinkle the salt and the pepper. Place the chicken pieces into it. Sprinkle on the salt and the pepper again. Pour the sake over the chicken. Flip the pieces over and allow the chicken to absorb the sake.
Place the all-purpose flour and the chicken into a plastic bag. Shake the bag to coat the chicken with the flour evenly.
Dip the chicken into the beaten egg. Coat the pieces with the egg evenly.
Heat the vegetable oil to about 170 °C (340 °F) and gently place the chicken into it. Let the chicken sit until the outside firms up. Then, flip the pieces over.
When the surface becomes golden brown, drain the oil thoroughly and place the pieces into the nanban sauce. Flip the chicken over and coat both sides with the sauce.
Place the chicken onto a plate along with the side vegetables. Spoon a generous amount of the tartar sauce onto the chicken. Then, top with the shredded parsley leaves.
Chicken breasts are often used in this recipe but you can also use chicken thighs.
The deep-fried batter absorbs the nanban sauce, making the dish more delicious.
You can pour the remaining nanban sauce over the side vegetables.
Let’s make the dashi stock. Remove the heads and stomachs of the dried baby sardines. Soak the sardines and the kombu seaweed in water and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Pour the water along with the baby sardines and kombu seaweed into a pot. Gradually heat the dashi stock on medium low heat.
When small bubbles begin to form, remove the kombu seaweed. Simmer the baby sardines on low heat for 5 more minutes. Keep ladling out the foam thoroughly while simmering. This will help remove any unwanted flavor.
Remove the baby sardines. The used kombu and the sardines can be saved and used as the ingredients of kakiage, mixed vegetable tempura.
Turn off the burner and add the bonito flakes. Let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then, strain the dashi stock using a mesh strainer covered with a paper towel. Lightly squeeze the bonito flakes and now the clear dashi stock for the udon is ready!
Measure the dashi stock. If it is less than 600ml or about two and a half cups, add water to compensate.
Let’s make the broth. Pour 600ml (2.54 cups) of the dashi stock into a pot. Add the salt, soy sauce and mirin. Turn on the burner and mix it evenly. When it begins to boil, turn off the burner. Now, the broth is ready.
Let’s make the kitsune udon. Heat a bowl in a pot of hot water and remove. Place the frozen udon noodles into the boiling water.
When the noodles are completely separated, turn off the burner and quickly place them into a mesh strainer. Remove the excess water thoroughly and place the noodles into the preheated bowl.
Pour a generous amount of the hot udon broth over the noodles.
Top with the sweetened aburaage, thin deep-fried tofu, wakame seaweed and the kamaboko fish cake. Add the chopped spring onion leaves. Finally, sprinkle on the shichimi, seven flavor chili powder to taste.
To make the sweetened aburaage, please check our Inarizushi, fried tofu pouches filled with sushi rice.
You may think that making the dashi stock takes too much time but the homemade dashi is exceptionally delicious.
You can substitute dashi stock powder if the ingredients are not available.
Tamagoyaki is a Japanese omelette that makes a great addition to a bento or for a breakfast side dish. The mitsuba parsley is visually appealing. This is an easy and delicious recipe so you should definitely try it out.
Let’s prepare the ingredients. Chop the mitsuba parsley leaves into 1cm or half inch pieces. You can also use spring onion leaves instead of the mitsuba.
Add the sugar, soy sauce, 2 pinches of salt to the dashi stock, and dissolve the sugar thoroughly with a spatula.
Beat the eggs thoroughly. Then, add the combined dashi stock and the mitsuba parsley, and mix evenly.
Let’s make the tamagoyaki. Heat a tamagoyaki pan and coat it with the olive oil thickly using a paper towel. With kitchen chopsticks, drop in a bit of the egg mixture and make sure it sizzles.
Ladle the egg into the pan and quickly distribute it.
When the egg surface almost drys, roll the egg sheet backwards.
Push the egg roll toward the front of the pan and then re-coat the pan with the oil.
Make sure the pan is still hot and ladle the egg mixture into it, distributing the egg again. Lift the egg roll and make sure to spread the egg mixture underneath it.
When the egg almost firms up, roll it backwards again, adding another layer to the tamagoyaki. Push the roll to the front and coat the pan with the oil again.
Repeat the process about 4 times in total, keeping the layers thin. If it’s too thick, the other side will burn before the surface almost drys. If the egg sheet puffs up, poke it with the chopsticks to remove the air, flattening the surface.
Gently press the tamagoyaki against the edge of the pan, adjusting the shape.
Place it onto a cutting board. Cut the tamagoyaki into 6 equal pieces. Hot tamagoyaki can easily break so make sure to cool it before cutting.
Place the tamagoyaki onto a plate. Lightly squeeze the grated daikon radish and place it next to the tamagoyaki. Pour the soy sauce onto the daikon. The grated daikon will add a refreshing taste to the tamagoyaki.
You can also use mentaiko, marinated roe of pollock or aonori seaweed instead of the mitsuba parsley.
You can also make the dish using a regular small pan.
This recipe is easy to make, visually appealing and nutritious so it is perfect for bento, or it is often served as a breakfast side dish.
Ikinari Dango is a local dish in Kumamoto Prefecture, Kyushu. Ikinari means ‘suddenly’ and it implies you can make the dish quickly when you have unexpected guests. The combination of the tender sweet potato and the anko creates just enough sweetness.
Ikinari Dango Recipe (Delicious Local Snack in Kumamoto)
Yakisoba noodles are commonly served by vendor booths at festivals and also when people go out camping in Japan. This is a simple, delicious and healthy recipe and you can eat plenty of healthy vegetables.
Place the Kraft paper or bakery paper in the cardboard box wrapped with aluminum foil and distribute the coarse demerara sugar or coffee sugar crystals.
Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl with a hand mixer at a low speed. Add the sugar and mix.
Float the bowl in hot water and gradually heat the egg. When it begins to slightly warm up, remove the bowl and continue mixing. Turn off the burner and heat a glass of water.
Beat the egg at high speed for about 8 minutes until the color turns white, and it reaches a soft peak stage. When you lift the mixer, the rippling pattern should remain on the surface as you see here.
Dilute the honey with the heated water. Add it to the beaten egg and mix with the hand mixer for 1 more minute at high speed. Switch to low speed and mix for about another minute until it has a fine, glossy texture.
Distribute the bread flour onto the egg mixture. At medium speed, whip the mixture for about 2 minutes until it has a smooth texture again.
Drop the bowl a few times to break any air bubbles. Then, pour the batter into the square mold. Slash the batter with a spatula to remove any air bubbles.
Place the batter into a preheated conventional oven. For the first 15 minutes, bake at 170°C (340°F). Then, reduce the heat to 160°C (320°F) and bake it for about 50 more minutes. The baking temperature and time depend on the type of your oven, so adjust them accordingly.
Pierce the castella with a bamboo stick. If the stick is slightly moist, it is ready. When the stick is dry and clean, the castella has lost its moist texture. The moist texture is essential for delicious castella so avoid over-baking.
Remove the mold and drop it on the counter a few times to prevent the castella from shrinking. Place a tray covered with plastic wrap on top. Then, flip it over.
Before placing the tray onto the castella, we recommend making a cut along the corners of the Kraft paper and folding the edges outward. This will help avoid damaging the surface of the castella. Now, remove the mold.
Wrap it with 2 layers of plastic wrap crosswise, completely covering the castella. Let it sit to cool and then store the castella in the fridge for one whole day. This will make it moist and even more delicious.
Let’s serve the castella. Carefully remove the Kraft paper and slice off the edges. For each cut, wipe the knife with a dampened towel to help make a clean cut.
Cut the castella in half. Then, slice it into 3cm (1.2") pieces. Arrange the pieces onto a plate.
We will show you how to make the homemade mold for castella. This is the Kraft paper with 4 slits.
The cardboard box is wrapped with aluminum foil.
To wrap the box, carefully cover it with a long strip of aluminum foil.
Then, cover it with another aluminum strip crosswise. If you don’t have a square cake pan, try making it as shown.
All-purpose flour or cake flour can be also used but we recommend using bread flour to help create a moist and kind of gooey texture.
You can keep the castella in the fridge for 1 week or store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Castella goes great with green tea, coffee or black tea and it is a perfect gift for special occasions.
Let's make the Tebasaki sauce. Combine the soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, and the grated garlic and ginger root in a pot. Turn on the burner. Stir evenly with a spatula.
Bring it to a boil to let the alcohol evaporate. Turn the heat to low, reducing the sauce for a few minutes. Pour the sauce into a bowl. Add the vinegar and stir with the spatula.
Let's prepare the chicken wings. Place the chicken wings onto a paper towel. Cover with another paper towel and press with your hands, removing all of the excess water.
Remove the paper towels and sprinkle on the salt. Lightly pat the salt onto the chicken. Flip it over and sprinkle on the salt again, lightly patting it.
Place the chicken into a bowl. Add the sake and ginger root juice. Rub the seasonings into the chicken thoroughly. After seasoning the chicken, allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
Press the chicken with a paper towel to lightly remove the excess liquid. Put the potato starch into a food storage bag. Place the chicken wings into the bag. Shake vigorously to coat the chicken with the starch. Place the chicken wings onto a cooking tray.
Let’s deep-fry the Tebasaki chicken. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Drop in a sprinkle of sesame oil for added fragrance and taste. The amount of the frying oil should be enough to almost cover the chicken wings.
Remove the excess starch from the chicken. Place them into the pot while the oil is still cold. Deep-fry the chicken without stirring until the surface is cooked. This will help hold the starch in place while cooking.
When the temperature begins to rise, ladle the hot oil over the chicken to cook thoroughly. The hot oil tends to splash so be careful not to burn yourself.
When the edges of the chicken begin to brown, flip them over. Deep-fry the chicken evenly until golden brown. Place the chicken onto a cooling rack. Turn off the burner.
When they are still hot, put the chicken wings into the bowl of Tebasaki sauce. With a paddle, toss to coat with the sauce.
Serve the Tebasaki chicken wings on a plate. With a kitchen brush, coat the chicken with the extra sauce.
Sprinkle on the toasted white sesame seeds and a generous amount of the coarsely ground black pepper. Finally, top with the sansho pepper powder and red chili powder to taste.
Be sure to drop in the chicken when the oil is still cold. This will help the chicken heat up slowly, cooking the inside with the juices while deep-frying the outside to a golden brown.
This recipe allows you to make plenty of Tebasaki chicken wings without any trouble. You should definitely try it on Thanksgiving Day.
Drain the rinsed sweet rice with a mesh strainer for 30 minutes. As for the dried shrimp, soak them in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water for 30 minutes. Add the shrimp liquid to a measuring cup. Fill with water to equal 180ml (6.1 fl oz).
Place the sweet rice into the inner bowl of a rice cooker. Pour in the shrimp stock. Then, cook the rice in sweet rice mode on the rice cooker. If your rice cooker doesn't have a sweet rice mode, select the white rice mode instead.
Meanwhile, let's prepare the ingredients. Coarsely chop the rehydrated shrimp into smaller pieces. As for the shimeji mushrooms, remove the stem ends and tear them into individual pieces.
Let's make the seasoning. Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sake, sugar, pepper and water. Mix thoroughly.
Cut the pork shoulder into 1cm (0.4") cubes and pour the sake and soy sauce over it. Thoroughly rub the pork with the seasoning until all the liquid is absorbed.
Next, heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a pan. Place the pork in the pan. The diced pork cubes are visually appealing but you can also use ground pork. Brown the pork cubes and flip them over.
When both sides of the pork turn golden brown, place onto a tray. You don't need to cook the pork completely at this stage.
Clean the pan with a paper towel. Add the vegetable oil again and reheat the pan. Add the minced ginger root and rehydrated shrimp. Stir-fry the ingredients.
When the aroma grows stronger, add the shimeji mushrooms. Distribute the oil and stir-fry until the mushrooms are slightly softened. Stir the seasoning and add it to the ingredients. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Then, add the shelled amaguri chestnuts. Now, add the pork shoulder. Continue to stir-fry and reduce the seasoning until most of the liquid is reduced.
Finally, add a small amount of sesame oil and distribute. This will help to bring out the aroma and the flavor. Turn off the burner and the ingredients are ready.
When the sweet rice is ready, lightly loosen up the rice with a rice paddle. Then, add the seasoned ingredients to the inner bowl. Using the steaming hot rice will make it easy to combine the ingredients.
Distribute the ingredients evenly but be careful not to crush the rice grains. Close the rice cooker and let it sit for 5 minutes to even out the flavor.
Now, the Chuka Okowa is ready. Place the mixed rice into a bowl. Finally, garnish with the chopped spring onion leaves to taste.
This recipe doesn't require soaking the sweet rice in water or steaming the rice so you can easily make Chuka Okowa.
This is a great bento ingredient since sweet rice is tender even when cold.
You can also make onigiri rice balls and keep them in the freezer on standby.