Succulent fried tofu

This was a very special dish that Yusuke created for my enjoyment, and enjoyed it was, believe you me.

First, he cut firm tofu (Soyarie brand, bien sûr) into cubes. He coated the outside in katakuriko (Japanese potato starch) and fried them in a pan, since we don’t have a deep fryer.

Next, he assembled a sauce made from hot water, soy sauce, mirin, and a pinch of salt. The coup de grâce was a few packets of ume-kombu (plum-seaweed) tea that I swiped from our ryokan in Kyoto. He added a bit of katakuriko to thicken the sauce.

He boiled bean sprouts separately—very briefly to maintain crunchiness—and added them to the sauce along with enoki mushrooms. Finally, the sauce was poured over the tofu and topped with chopped green onions and grated daikon.

This is a perfect example of how Japanese cuisine perfectly harmonizes textures and flavours: tofu crispy on the outside and soft inside, crunchy bean sprouts, slippery mushrooms, cool grated daikon, sharp onions, and gentle kombu.

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