© Constantine William Spyrou
I come from a family with a lot of dietary restrictions, so I know how to cook for different kinds of allergies and such. For example, my older sister Barbara has an allergy to fish as well as a gluten allergy that was recently diagnosed. For her, this is saddening because a lot of her favorite foods had gluten or contained fish products. Examples of this include sushi, since the rice used to make it contains gluten, as does the vinegar traditionally used to flavor the rice. Another dish is one of her favorites of all-time: Agedashi tofu. Traditionally made tempura style with regular flour (which has gluten) and served with bonito flakes and a vibrant soy sauce dressing (gluten), every component has something my sister can't handle.
This is a gluten-free version of Agedashi tofu for my sister, using rice flour instead of regular flour to make the tempura batter, and utilizing a gluten-free version of soy sauce to make a better dressing that my sister can both enjoy and handle. This one is for you, sis!
Recipe will make 18 pieces of tofu.
1 package silken tofu, cut into 18 equal cubes
2 cups rice flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups soda water
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
1 tablespoon gluten-free rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon white pepper
Peanut or safflower oil for frying (both are gluten-free)
Chopped green onion for a garnish
1. Combine the rice flour, salt, and soda water in a bowl and mix well. Leave in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours so it gets really cold. It's key that the batter is cold as it's placed on the tofu!
2. Combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and white pepper together and set aside for at least 20 minutes to build in a flavor.
3. Take the batter out of the fridge. At the same time, start heating about 3-4 cups of your cooking oil in either a deep pan or sauce pan.
4. Using a spoon, carefully lower each cube of tofu into the batter so that it is not broken up, which is very easy to do. Immediately drop into the hot oil, which should be at 350 degrees F (if you don't have a candy thermometer to check the temperature, place in a wooden chopstick. If bubbles rise to the top, it's ready to fry).
5. Fry each piece of tofu for no more than a minute, then place onto a towel to drain. Plate when all of the tofu is fried, garnish with the green onion, and serve with the dipping sauce.
Using the soda water in the batter helps it to leaven really quickly, and the salt keeps it nice and crisp. Adding the contrasting sauces helps bring the tofu a little more flavor, and the freshness of the green onion just lifts it over the top.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make it at home, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =)