Agedashi Tofu Recipe - Delicious Vegan & Vegetarian Japanese Cuisine

Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi Tofu Recipe - Delicious Vegan & Vegetarian Japanese Cuisine
Region / culture: Japan, Northeast Asia | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegan diet


Agedashi Tofu
Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi Tofu is a classic Japanese dish that combines the delicate texture of soft tofu with a savory, umami-rich broth. It's a popular appetizer in Japanese cuisine, known for its crispy exterior and custard-like interior. This dish is a perfect example of how simple ingredients can be transformed into a flavorful and elegant dish.


Agedashi Tofu has a long history in Japanese cuisine, dating back to the Edo period (1603-1868). It was originally considered a luxury dish, enjoyed by the upper class and samurai warriors. Over time, it became more accessible and is now a beloved dish in Japanese households and restaurants worldwide.


For the tofu base

For the sauce

How to prepare

For the sauce

  1. Heat the stock, kelp powder, soy sauce, and vinegar until boiling.
  2. Add the water/cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until slightly thickened.
  3. Set aside.

For the tofu base

  1. Heat the oil to 350° F. Ensure that it is at least four inches deep in the pot to allow the tofu enough space to float.
  2. Pat each piece of tofu dry and generously coat with the cornstarch/salt mixture. Then, carefully place them into the hot oil.
  3. Deep-fry for 5 – 7 minutes until they turn golden brown.
  4. Drain on paper towels and transfer to individual serving bowls.
  5. Pour the sauce over the tofu and garnish with sliced green onions and kombu.


  • For a gluten-free version, use tamari instead of soy sauce and ensure the cornstarch is gluten-free. You can also experiment with different broths, such as mushroom or chicken, for a unique twist on the traditional recipe.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the perfect Agedashi Tofu, ensure the tofu is thoroughly dried before coating it in the cornstarch and salt mixture. This helps create a crispy exterior. Also, maintaining the oil temperature is crucial for deep-frying, as too low a temperature will make the tofu greasy, while too high will burn the exterior before cooking the inside.

Serving Suggestions

Agedashi Tofu is best served hot, immediately after frying, to enjoy its crispy texture. It can be garnished with grated daikon radish, bonito flakes, and finely chopped green onions for additional flavor and texture.

Cooking Techniques

Deep-frying is the traditional method for cooking Agedashi Tofu, but for a healthier version, you can try pan-frying or baking until golden brown. Each technique offers a different texture and flavor profile.

Ingredient Substitutions

If tofu is not your preference, you can substitute it with tempeh or even lightly battered vegetables for a different take on the classic dish.

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving. The tofu should be fried just before serving to maintain its texture.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Agedashi Tofu in a shallow bowl with the sauce and garnish with green onions, grated daikon, and kombu for an elegant presentation. A sprinkle of sesame seeds or chili flakes can add color and flavor.

Pairing Recommendations

Agedashi Tofu pairs well with a light, crisp white wine or a cold sake. For a non-alcoholic option, try a green tea or a sparkling water with a slice of lime.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Agedashi Tofu can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a pan over low heat to maintain the texture of the tofu.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A single serving of Agedashi Tofu contains approximately 250 calories, making it a relatively light appetizer or side dish.


A serving of Agedashi Tofu contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from the cornstarch used for coating and the sugars in the sauce.


The dish contains about 15 grams of fat per serving, mainly from the oil used for deep-frying. Using a healthier oil with a high smoke point, such as corn oil, can make the dish slightly healthier.


Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein. A serving of Agedashi Tofu provides about 10 grams of protein, making it a satisfying and nutritious option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

Vitamins and minerals

Tofu is rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium, while the garnishes and sauce add small amounts of vitamins A and C, along with potassium and phosphorus.


The primary allergens in Agedashi Tofu are soy (from the tofu and soy sauce) and gluten (from the soy sauce). Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Agedashi Tofu is a balanced dish, offering a good mix of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a nutritious option that fits well into a variety of dietary preferences.


Agedashi Tofu is a versatile and flavorful dish that showcases the simplicity and elegance of Japanese cuisine. With its rich history and nutritional benefits, it's a delightful appetizer or side dish that can be adapted to suit various dietary needs and preferences. Whether you stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with your own variations, Agedashi Tofu is sure to be a hit.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl eager to learn new recipes and techniques in the kitchen. I had always been fascinated by the art of Japanese cooking, with its delicate flavors and precise methods. So, when I stumbled upon a recipe for Agedashi Tofu in an old cookbook at the local library, I knew I had to give it a try.

I can still remember the excitement I felt as I gathered all the ingredients for the dish. Tofu, soy sauce, mirin, dashi stock, cornstarch, and green onions. It was a simple list, but I could already imagine the complex flavors and textures that would come together in the final dish.

As I followed the recipe, carefully measuring out each ingredient and following each step with precision, I couldn't help but feel a sense of satisfaction. The aroma of the dashi stock simmering on the stove filled the kitchen, mingling with the earthy scent of the fried tofu. It was a sensory experience unlike any other, and I knew I was onto something special.

When the dish was finally ready, I couldn't wait to taste it. The tofu had been deep-fried to a perfect golden brown, and the sauce was rich and savory, with just a hint of sweetness from the mirin. I took my first bite, and it was like a revelation. The tofu was crispy on the outside, yet soft and creamy on the inside, soaking up the flavorful sauce like a sponge. It was a taste unlike anything I had ever experienced before, and I knew I had found a new favorite recipe.

From that day on, Agedashi Tofu became a staple in my cooking repertoire. I would make it for family dinners, potlucks with friends, and even just as a special treat for myself. Each time I made it, I would tweak the recipe slightly, adding a touch more soy sauce here, a pinch of chili flakes there, until I had perfected my own version of the dish.

Over the years, I learned that the key to making great Agedashi Tofu lies not just in the ingredients, but in the technique. The tofu must be drained and pressed to remove excess moisture before frying, so that it crisps up perfectly. The sauce must be simmered gently to allow the flavors to meld together, creating a harmonious balance of sweet, salty, and umami.

I also learned that the dish is best served hot, straight from the fryer, so that the tofu retains its crispiness and the sauce stays warm and inviting. A garnish of thinly sliced green onions adds a fresh, bright flavor to the dish, cutting through the richness of the sauce and tofu.

As I grew older and passed the recipe down to my own children and grandchildren, I realized that Agedashi Tofu had become more than just a favorite dish. It was a connection to my past, a reminder of the joy and discovery I had found in the kitchen all those years ago.

And so, whenever I make Agedashi Tofu now, I do so with a sense of nostalgia and gratitude, remembering that first time I found the recipe and the journey it has taken me on ever since. It is a dish that holds a special place in my heart, and one that I will continue to cherish for years to come.


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