Japanese Egg Tofu
Egg tofu also called Tamago or Japanese tofu actually does not contain any soy at all whatsoever, as opposed to real tofu. Tamago tofu is made of eggs and dashi and derives its name due to a tofu-like texture and the color of scrambled eggs. Dashi is a mixture of water, kombu seaweed (a type of kelp), and shaved bonito fish flakes. It is a delicious broth on its own but also forms the base of countless Japanese dishes, including ramen.
- 4 large eggs
- 500 g dashi
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp mirin (Japanese spirit-based liquid sweetener)
- Salt, to taste
- A bunch of flatleaf parsley, chopped
- Nagashikan (special egg tofu ramekin) or dutch oven, to fit in the steamer
- Large tea towel
- Large cheesecloth (or another tea towel)
- Bring some water to a boil in a steamer.
- Whisk the eggs with 2 tbsp of the soy sauce and blend in 350 g of the dashi. For smoother, silkier texture, add more dashi and filter the egg mixture.
- Rinse the ramekin/ dutch oven and pour egg mixture inside.
- Wrap the lid of the steamer in a tea towel, tying the ends together on top, at the handle. This will prevent condensation from dripping into your egg tofu mixture as it steams.
- Line the bottom of the steamer with cheesecloth, and place the ramekin/ dutch oven on top of it inside the steamer. Cover steamer with lid but leave slightly ajar. Reduce heat to lowest, and slowly steam for 20 min.
- Gather the edges of the cheesecloth around the steamed tofu dish, and lift out of the steamer. Let cool completely, and chill in the fridge for 2 hours. Alternatively, if serving right away, place the cooking dish in ice water for 10 min.
- Run a knife along the edges of the ramekin/ dutch oven, and remove egg tofu from the dish by turning it upside down onto a plate or cutting board. Slice into 4 equal portions.
- As the egg tofu chills in the fridge, prepare the dashi. Start by heating a small frying pan or pot to medium heat. Add the mirin and simmer for 10 seconds, until the alcohol evaporates.
- Add 150 ml dashi to the mirin and bring to a boil.
- Add 1 tbsp soy sauce, and set aside.
- Place a portion of egg tofu on each plate, and pour some dashi around it. Decorate with chopped parsley and serve. If necessary, add more soy sauce to taste individually.
Tip: egg tofu can be served in many different ways. One of the most popular recipes is lightly dusting 1 cm thick pieces with cornstarch and frying in vegetable oil for 30 s on each side. This gives a texture similar to that of scallops. Try this topped with minced pork fried with oyster sauce and spring onions. Tamago tofu is also delicious with steamed rice and aubergine fried in tamari sauce.