Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sesame and Bonito Flake-Crusted Tofu



This is a great and elegant appetizer that I’ve made a few months ago. I paired it with a soba noodle salad but they are also great on it’s own with a dipping sauce. I don’t consider tofu as a whole food but they have been a part of our meals in Asia and all over the world.



I am using a semi-firm tofu which is between a firm and a soft tofu. They have the right consistency, not too soft and not too firm but still imparting enough silkiness and texture. I drain the tofu onto a plate lined with paper napkin to drain the excess moisture. Tofu is also a good source of protein and great substitute for meats. When I don’t know what to cook, I chose tofu.



The sesame seeds which are high in calcium provide a nutty flavor and aroma when toasted. You can do a combination of white and black sesame seeds. The bonito flakes which is one the ingredients in making dashi stock, add some saltiness and texture.

I would like to serve this with some grated ginger and chopped green onions for extra zing. And tofu will not be the same without dipping it in a soy and vinegar mixture. The result is fantastic.



Sesame and Bonito Flake-Crusted Tofu

Makes 4 servings:

1 block semi-firm tofu (about 320 grams)

1 egg
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sesame seeds (or 2 tbsp each white and black sesame seeds)
1 cup bonito flakes

3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 green onion
1-inch piece fresh ginger root

2 tbsp rice bran oil or untoasted sesame oil

To prepare the tofu, drain the tofu from the container and rinse gently. Place the tofu into a plate lined with double layers of paper napkin to drain the excess liquid. You can also add pressure by placing a plate on top. You can do this in advance. Then cut the tofu into 3/4 to 1-inch piece, about 8 slices.

To set up for breading, first combine the bonito flakes and the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until evenly blended. Then, place the flour into the third shallow bowl and set everything aside.

To prepare the dipping sauce and the condiments, first combine the soy sauce and the vinegar in a small bowl. Next, trim and chop the green onions, the peel and grate the ginger. Place them into two separate small bowls. Cover with saran wrap and set aside.

To “bread” the tofu, coat each piece with the flour and shake off any excess. Then dip into the beaten egg and then set into the sesame-bonito flakes mixture. You may need to grab the sesame seeds and sprinkle on top of the tofu as they settle at the bottom of the plate. Transfer into a baking tray.

Prepare a plate lined with paper napkin.

To cook the tofu, heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat and the oil. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the crusted tofu and lower the heat slightly. Be careful not to burn the sesame seeds and the bonito flakes. Cook the tofu for about 2 minutes on each side or until lightly golden brown.

Transfer the tofu to a paper-napkin lined plate to absorb excess oil. You can also place them on a cooling rack but the paper-napkin is better.

To serve the tofu, transfer them onto a plate and serve with the chopped onion, grated ginger and dipping sauce. Sprinkle each tofu with chopped green onions and grated ginger before dipping lightly into the sauce. Chopsticks would come in handy.

Serve them hot and enjoy.

Notes:

Gluten-Free (if brown rice flour and wheat-free tamari)

Instead of all-purpose flour, you can also use brown rice flour. Just make sure that the tofu is very dry before coating it as they will form lumps when the tofu is still wet.

Print Recipe


49 comments:

  1. I sure would love this anytime even 3 meals a day. They are very delicious with the dipping sauce. The sesame seeds add much flavour which I would really love. Would be lovely with some soba noodles and salad or veg stir fry with it for a healthy, light vegetarian meal for a change. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Have no clue what bonito flakes are. They do look good. Ginger and onion for extra zing would be great! Well done post as usual.

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  3. divine,it's a awesome appetizer!thank you for sharing!

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  4. You know what? I think this dish could just turn me into a vegetarian! It looks delicious!

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  5. Wow, the tofu certainly looks very yummy. Kids will love this for sure!

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  6. Absoloutely stunning photographs, Divina! Beautiful!

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  7. They are beautiful.
    I always love to eat tofu with bonito flakes as a cold dish, this is another great idea I should try.

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  8. OMG, these look fantastic! I would love to try it but where to get bonita flakes! Well, can always find something else for a switch, right! This is a very good idea for making tofu. I hope my son will like this. He's a very picky eater. hehe...

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  9. So do I. "When I don’t know what to cook, I chose tofu"
    I eat more tofu than before.
    This dish looks very nice, very similar to Japanese cuisine. Oh, maybe I'm thinking too much of Japan right now. ^0^

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  10. Wow this tofu dish looks amazing!! I really love tofu, and it's always noce to try some new ways cooking it!

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  11. Mary - Thanks. I could eat this three times a day too.

    @ Alison - Thank you.

    @ Shirley - I forgot to write. They are also fish flakes which are used to make dashi stock.

    @ Christine - We are on the same wavelength again. :D

    @ Sanjana- Thank you.

    @ Trissa - Really? Okay, I believe you.

    @ Kristy - you can find them at the Japanese store. My nephew doesn't like this. I hope your son will.

    @ TasteHongKong - Thank you. Now, I have to try it as a cold dish.

    @ cruxiefaye - Thank you. I hope they like it.

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  12. I've never tried tofu Divina. Can you believe that! This looks amazing! The combination of flavours are exciting. I'm definitely going to try this recipe out :)

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  13. I always order agedashi tofu in a Japanese restaurant, and while this reminds me of that a little (I guess the bonito flakes) I think I like this better!! The sesame seeds give such a nice crunch ... this is super fantastic, yum.

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  14. Oh divina, I always order this at a Japanese restaurant...it's a little different. Yours looks much more amazing actually! I love the combination of delicate tofu and the umami flavor of the bonito flakes yummm!!!! I will definitely make this after I come back from Thanksgiving :)

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  15. These look so pretty! I'm not a big tofu fan usually (it has to be prepared just right...) but this looks good!

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  16. Love this dish, I had it at some Japanese restaurants and it's always one of my favorite

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  17. What a gorgeous and delicious way to prepare tofu. 5 Stars!

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  18. Wow, what an awesome dish, salivating already. Thanks for sharing.

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  19. hi, where can i get semi-firm tofu? i also just made some fried breaded tofu weeks back and always use the soft japanese tofu, which takes a lot of practice not to break it while breading! :)

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  20. Hey, Divina, I adore tofu so much that I can actually eat it for every meal, maybe not breakfast... :P
    And I love benito flake a lot. You must have fried the tofu really well, cos I was wonderful how come you didn't burn the flakes. You've done And the dipping sauce plus the ginger-green onion granish.......this is surperb!

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  21. Looks FANTASTIC girl! I love the addition of bonito flakes! Yum!

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  22. I agree with you, Divina... I don't consider tofu a whole food, but it doesn't hurt to have it once in a while :o) They look beautiful... I know they must taste good.

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  23. I love tofu and this looks beautiful and delicious. Ive never heard of bonito flakes..

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  24. WOW! I would like this for dinner! Great photos.

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  25. These are look almost too good to eat! I've been wanting to prepare tofu differently from my usual stir-fry and this would be perfect.

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  26. This looks so perfect! I was never a big fan of tofu, until I had it prepared correctly, now I love it!

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  27. haha, for a minute there i was confused - bonito is Spanish for pretty. i was thinking, yes, her photos of food always look fantastic, but why put a Spanish word in the title of the dish? i just didn't realize bonito was also a food substance. either way, you've made another tasty, good looking meal!

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  28. Thanks Divina. I will try this one. Our daughter seems to really like tofu. We had been breading it with egg, milk, and parmasan. I think she will really like this. Thanks for sharing.

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  29. thanks for leaving feedback Divina...and I like your new "Print Recipe" link/button, so convenient!

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  30. Wow, these tofu look phenomenal. I wish you opened a restaurant here Divana. I'll be a regular for sure. Given that it's affordable, of course.:)

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  31. This tofu sounds incredible with sesame and bonito flakes - I've always loved everything with sesame seeds and recently have been introduced to bonito flakes and really enjoy them as well!

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  32. yum-sounds good-plus using rice oil is a great idea.

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  33. I love it. This is perfect for me since I need more recipes for soft foods :)

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  34. Thanks for all of your comments. Now, I'm trying to catch up to reply to all you individually.

    @ lululu - I did burn it once :D so I lowered the heat the next time I made it.

    @ CheapAppetite - You can just come into my house and you can eat anything you want.

    @ Brie - :D I know, the word is misleading. :D

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  35. Oh I love this I love this!!!! it looks so so appetizing and beautiful too. It has texture, is a glorious golden brown and I have no doubt that it tastes exceptional as well with the dipping sauce. Im having it bookmarked. TQ Divina .its a wonderful recipe idea!!

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  36. I am trying this recipe in the very near future. It makes my mouth water with the fresh light flavor profile. Thanks for sharing.

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  37. I think non tofu eater would love this too! they look so tasty!

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  38. I never cook with tofu because I just don't know how to prepare. Now I can enjoy the tofu I love with your recipe! Great post!

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  39. That's a beautiful dish, I never cook with tofu because I just don't know how to prepare it, will definitely try this one.

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  40. I think a lot of us tend to be baffled by tofu. We want to cook with it, know it's healthy for us but just never seem to know what to do with it aside from a stir-fry or hot-and-sour soup. This recipe just became a must make for me! Thank you so much.

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  41. I love fried tofu but I can't seem to get it done right when I'm at home. I may have to try your technique. This dish looks great!

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  42. What a great idea to give toufu texture. They look beautiful, must try this and will direct my students to your wonderful site.

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  43. Divina, this has got to be the best looking tofu dish I've ever seen! I want to make this now it looks so good :D I hope you have a lovely Holiday and I can't wait to read all about your cooking adventures in 2010 :)

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  44. Hi Divina - I just made this as part of a fun dim sum; I linked to this post in my post - hope that's ok!! Check it out if you feel like. It was absolutely smashingly delicious!!

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  45. Thanks for all your comments. :)

    @ Trix - it's definitely okay. Glad you like it.

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  46. Wow! I usually enjoy silken tofu simply topped with bonito flakes and drizzl with soy sauce but never like this. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  47. Oh wow love it! I love tofu, and this just makes tofu even more exciting to eat :D Thanks for sharing, i wanna share this recipe to my friends in Foodista just if you wouldn't mind. I could guide them to your post if you'll just add this foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

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  48. This recipe sounds absolutely amazing! I found this site through refrigeratorsoup and can't wait to try this dish! (I live with my bf who doesn't like tofu but I'll definitely be making this dish next time he goes out of town)!

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