Cut the tofu into four blocks, and leave to drain on a slightly angled board for 15 to 20 minutes, or if you are short of time, sandwich the tofu between two cutting boards, angled slightly on a chopstick, with a can of tomatoes as a weight on top.
Cut the scallions into about 2-inch lengths, then with the tip of a knife, cut into very fine strips lengthwise, and soak in a bowl of water. Once the strips have curled, drain, and set aside.
Heat the dashi in a saucepan to a gentle simmer, and add the soy and mirin. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, to thicken, then keep warm while you deep-fry the tofu.
How to make red maple radish sauce: Cut the stems of dried chiles, and without puncturing, remove the seeds from the inside, then soak in warm water for 5 to 8 minutes, to soften. Peel and cut a daikon, giant white radish, into 2 to 2 1/2-inch length pieces, then make 3 to 5 holes in one end with a chopstick, and plug the chiles into the holes, using the chopstick to push them in. Grate the whole radish—it should yield about a cupful of very watery red mixture. Drain through a strainer.
Heat the oil to 350°F in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Dust the tofu with flour, and shake off any excess, then immediately deep-fry, one to two pieces at a time, for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly golden. Briefly drain on a wire rack. Repeat to cook the remaining tofu. Put the tofu in individual serving dishes, pour the dashi broth over, spoon on the red maple radish sauce (see below) and garnish with the scallion curls. Serve immediately.
About this recipe
"Momiji-oroshi is grated radish with a kick of dried red chiles, and makes an excellent condiment for deep-fried dishes. You can buy it ready-made, but homemade is not difficult. Fresh momiji-oroshi doesn’t keep well, so make it as needed." -- Kimiko Barber
Taken from Cook Japanese at Home by Kimiko Barber, Photography by Emma Lee. Published by Kyle Books 2017.