by Harumi Kurihara
You may be surprised that in Japan it is quite usual to prepare tofu in the same way as steak. Cooked with a great combination of garlic and leeks, and dressed with banno soy sauce, this easy to create dish has the most amazing aroma. Be careful to make sure the tofu is well drained so it fries easily. The dish is topped with a handful of the thinly shaved fish flakes, katsuobushi, which curl with the heat of the tofu and add a wonderful smoky dimension to the flavor.
• 1 lb 5oz soft/silken tofu
• salt and pepper
• 2 tablespoons grated or finely minced garlic
• 1 oz fresh ginger, to garnish
• 3 scallions, to garnish
• 4 to 5 tablespoons potato starch or all-purpose flour, for coating
• 3 to 4 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil, for frying
• katsuobushi (dried fish flakes) to garnish
• banno soy sauce, to serve
For The Banno Soy Sauce
• 1/2 cup mirin
• 1¼ cups soy sauce
• 4 inch piece kombu seaweed (dried kelp), wiped of any salty deposits
1. To make the banno soy sauce: In a small saucepan, bring the mirin to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 2-3 minutes to bum off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce and kombu. Leave to cool then refrigerate.
2. Drain the tofu and cut into four pieces. Wipe off any excess water with paper towel.
3. Season the tofu on both sides with salt and pepper and then spread with the grated or finely minced garlic.
4. Peel and grate the ginger. Finely slice the scallions.
5. Lightly coat the tofu pieces in the potato starch.
6. Heat a little oil in a skillet and when hot add the tofu, cooking until it is crispy and browned.
7. Serve with the grated ginger, sliced scallions, and katsuobushi on top. Finish by dressing with banno soy sauce.