Age Dashi (pronounced Ahgey Dahshee) tofu is a common Japanese appetizer of fried tofu in a bonito fish broth (dashi). Although vegans and vegetarians cannot eat this, it is possible to create this dish without fish by using sea vegetables such as nori and wakame to create a delicious oceanic flavour.
1 package firm tofu
1 sheet nori
¼ cup dried wakame
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of black pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
corn starch or rice flour, for breading
oil for frying
Soak wakame in cold water for at least half an hour, so that it rehydrates. Remove from water and chop into small pieces.
In a small bowl mix together, chopped wakame, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, pepper, garlic, ginger and 1 sheet of crushed nori. Stir and set aside.
Cut the tofu into small cubes, or finger sized pieces, and lightly dust with either corn starch, or rice flour. Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan, and cook each side of the tofu until golden brown and crisp. Remove from heat and place the tofu on paper towels to absorb extra oil.
Serve over bean spouts, rice, or have it just plain, by stacking the tofu, and drizzling the sauce over top.