As the days start to cool and leaves fall from the trees, our favourite mushrooms spring out from the ground here in the Seki forests. This is one of our last chances to gather Mother Nature's bounty before the chilly weather hits. Here in the Ozeki household, we love mushrooms—shitake, enoki, shimeji, maitake—the list goes on and on. We often make mushroom sauce, combining the distinct flavors of many types of mushrooms into a flavorful and versatile topping. Today, we will be using mushroom sauce to top off agedashi tofu (deep-fried tofu). You can use any eddible mushrooms available in your home country, so take a trip to your local farmers market and join in!
Deep-fried tofu with shimeji mushroom sauce
50ml soy sauce (I,Shuji normally use Higashimaru usukuchi soy sauce.)
200ml ichiban (1st) dashi stock
60g shimeji mushroom
2 teaspoons potato starch (or corn four)
2 teaspoons water
1 tofu (preferably momen tofu)
potato starch or corn flour as needed
deep frying vegetable oil as needed, depending on the size of a deep frying saucepan you may be using.
4 asatsuki (or thin spring onion)
To make mushroom sauce:
Pour mirin into a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and slightly tilt the saucepan to flambe.
Be careful not to burn your face or hair!
Add ichiban dashi, soy sauce and shimeji mushrooms.
Cook for about one minute.
Dissolve the potato starch in the water.
Bring the mushroom sauce to a boil and pour into it the dissolved potato starch while stiring the sauce with a ladle. Stir well until sauce is thickened.
Remove from heat.
To make tofu:
Cut tofu into 4 equal parts.
Wrap tofu in the cheesecloth and place on a tray or chopping board. Tilt the tray to drain the excess water.
Peel ginger and grate. Chop green onions finely.
In a saucepan, heat the canola oil to 160°C on medium heat.
Coat potato starch on all sides of tofu and deep fry for about 3 minutes or until tofu is crisp. Drain oil well.
Serve the deep-fried tofu with shimeji mushroom sauce topped with grated ginger and chopped green onions. If prefered, you may top this dish with grated daikon, white radish.
Chef Shuji’s Tips
Momen tofu has less water than kinugoshi tofu. Momen tofu is better for this dish. Kinugoshi tofu has smooth texture and is nice for hiya-yakko (fresh tofu served chilled topped with chopped green onions, grated ginger and soy sauce.)
Soy bean oil, canola oil and sun flower oil can be used for deep frying.
1 cup is 200ml,
1 tablespoon soy sauce or mirin is 15ml
1 teaspoon water is 5ml