Tofu Steak is another popular dish at Conti’s Restaurant in Manila. My cousin’s husband is very fond of this dish. It is basically fried tofu with mushrooms in brown sauce. The taste and aroma of the brown sauce are both very familiar as I often make this Japanese dipping sauce at home. The taste of Japanese Mirin is unmistakeable.
This is the basic sauce that I have been using. Throughout the years I have learned to make this without exact measurements but for this purpose, I had to refer back to the Japanese cookbook I had originally used for the recipe Agedashi-Dofu or Deep Fried Tofu. The book is Japanese Cooking A simple Art, I purchased in 1981.
- 1 1/3 cup dashi (Boil the water and add 1 T powder dashi). I did not taste the dashi on Conti’s sauce, so this may be omitted.
- 2 T light soy sauce
- 2 T mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
- 1 block of firm tofu
- 1 cup of vegetable oil for frying
- 4 pieces of dried shiitake mushroom, soak in water, squeeze and wash a few times and slice
- 2 sprigs of green onions for garnish
In a very little oil, stir fry the sliced mushroom. Add the rest of the ingredients and boil for about 5 minutes. If a sweeter sauce is preferred, add 1 T of sugar.
Slice the tofu. Heat oil and fry both sides until golden brown.
Drain the tofu and add to the sauce. Stir.
If a crispy tofu is preferred, pour the sauce over it when ready to eat. Garnish with sliced green onions or scallions.
- To avoid water splatter when frying, drain the tofu by weighing down with a heavy object like canned goods. I use a heavy marble mortar.
- For a crispy outside, soft inside tofu, use a medium firm tofu, no need to drain the water, dredge in cornstarch and deep fry.
- As a healthier option, I put a small amount of oil on a baking pan and bake the tofu at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- When my family was growing up and I was working full time, I would make a really big batch of this into which I also add 1 whole grated daikon radish and a knob of grated ginger, in concentrated form (less liquid) which I then put in plastic containers in the freezer. Whenever I make tempura or fried tofu or eggplants, I would take a container, add some water and bring it to boil.