I am surprised by how many of my friends turn their nose up at tofu, insisting that it’s bland and slippery and they don’t get it at all. But tofu is incredibly versatile and has become one of my favourite ingredients over the years, especially when it’s fried.
This Homemade Atsuage (Fried Tofu) with Cherry Tomatoes recipe is from Aya Nishimura’s Japanese Food Made Easy and is a quick and easy way to enjoy tofu at home.
With fresh British tomatoes in the shops right now, this is a great recipe to showcase tomatoes too.
Homemade Atsuage (Fried Tofu) with Cherry Tomatoes
Although you can buy atsuage (chunky fried tofu) in some supermarkets and health-food stores, I have found that the atsuage from Asian grocery stores is of better quality.
- 640 g (1 lb 6 oz) firm tofu (also called momen tofu), cut into 8 large cubes
- 200 g (7 oz) cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
- 750 ml (3 cups) sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 large pinches of sea salt
Wrap the tofu in a clean, thick, cotton tea towel and place it on a baking tray for some of the excess liquid to drain away.
Heat the sunflower oil in a deep saucepan over medium–high heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F).
While the oil is heating, prepare the sauce. Mix the tomatoes, ginger, olive oil, soy sauce and salt together in a small bowl.
Deep-fry two to three tofu cubes at a time for 3 minutes until golden brown. Turn every few minutes to get an even golden colour on each side. Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift out the tofu and drain on paper towel.
Serve the tofu hot with the tomato and ginger sauce (grated daikon radish and soy sauce also works very well).
Aya Nishimura’s Japanese Food Made Easy is published by Murdoch Books. Photography by Lisa Linder.