Tofu dengaku is such a yummy and pretty dish! I love cooking with tofu; when purchased at a grocery store in block format, it’s an underwhelming protein that goes unnoticed by most shoppers.
However, it can be transformed into something spectacular if it’s seasoned and dressed up the right way (like this tofu and broccoli with spicy oyster sauce recipe). Tofu dengaku is the proof and what’s even better is that making this recipe doesn’t take more than 15 minutes! The flavors are nutty, sweet and salty and deeply rooted in that strong umami taste only miso can bring to the table.
The Meaning of Dengaku
1. The term is used for dishes that are grilled over a fire (such as nasu dengaku – eggplant with miso).
2. A rustic celebration or ‘field entertainment’ with ritual dances and music.
Ingredients for Tofu Dengaku
- Tofu. Medium texture is best for this dish. Silken is too soft and will fall apart while firm is too hard and dry.
- Dengaku sauce. A mix of white and red miso paste (or awase miso paste which is a mix of both white and red), soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sake, dashi, and grated ginger.
- Scallion. Finally chopped. They are used as a topping to add crunch and a cleansing taste.
- Sesame seeds. White or black sesame seeds are okay. These will also be used as a topping to add a little nuttiness.
How to Cook Tofu Dengaku
- Remove the excess water of the tofu by wrapping it in a towel or paper towel. Slice into sticks.
- Make the dengaku glaze by whisking the ingredients in a bowl.
- Fry tofu on each side for 2 minute to give them some color.
- Place the tofu on a cooking tray and brush dengaku sauce on top.
- Broil for 4 minutes.
- Top with scallions and sesame seeds. Enjoy!
There are many different ways to make this dish; sweeter if you only use white miso paste and saltier using the red type. I prefer going half and half as I find it gives a nice balance between both basic tastes.
My recipe isn’t traditional by any means, chopped scallions won’t make an appearance on tofu dengaku in Japan and the addition of grated ginger to the glaze is unconventional. However, I must admit that my preparation is the one I like best because of the depth of flavor achieved and that pleasant crunch I get from the raw scallions mmm!
Broiling helps the sauce to settle on top and thickens it as well. The tofu sticks will come out with the miso glaze bubbling and looking a gorgeous golden brown. The hardest part is having to wait a few minutes to let them cool down, after which you can DIG IN! Itadakimasu! (Bon appetit!)
What to Serve with Tofu Dengaku
Here are some of my favorite Japanese dishes to serve with this tofu dish:
- pickles (tsukemono)
- Miso soup
- Green salad with restaurant-style Japanese ginger dressing
- Salmon ochazuke
- Japanese fried rice (yakimeshi)
Did you like this simple Tofu Dengaku Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!Print
Tofu Dengaku (Tofu with Miso Glaze)
A simple tofu recipe with a sweet and umami based glazed, broiled to perfection.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 sides 1x
- Category: Tofu
- Method: Broiling
- Cuisine: Japanese
- 14 oz block firm tofu (drained)
- 2 tablespoons white miso paste
- 2 tablespoons red miso paste
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon mirin
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sake
- 1 1/2 tablespoon dashi
- 1 thumb size ginger (peeled and finely grated)
- 1 scallion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Turn the oven to broil.
- Wrap tofu in paper towel and leave until paper towel has soaked through. Repeat a couple of times to remove excess water.
- Slice tofu in half in thickness and in 4 slices lengthwise.
- In a mixing bowl add red and white miso, soy sauce, mirin, sugar, sake, dashi and grated ginger and mix well.
- In a pan over high heat, add tofu slices and fry each side for about 2 minutes, until they are golden brown.
- Transfer the tofu onto a sheet tray and brush a good amount of mixed sauce on top of each slice.
- Broil for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes, until dark brown.
- Transfer to a plate and top with sesame seed and scallions. Serve.
Keep the leftovers in an airtight storage container. No need to reheat the dish the next day, tofu dengaku is also delicious cold!
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 739
- Sugar: 6.1 g
- Sodium: 298 mg
- Fat: 6.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 13.4 g
- Fiber: 2.3 g
- Protein: 12.7 g
- Cholesterol: 0.1 mg
Keywords: Soybean, appetizer, side, vegetarian, vegan
Made this for a Japanese theme dinner party recently and it was really yummy and most of all it was sooooo… easy! Many thanks for this wonderful recipe. I might try using a softer and silkier tofu next time and see how well they’ll hold up!
Thank you Cornelia, I have a nasu (eggplant) dengaku recipe I think you will love too 🙂
this looks very delicious and I can’t wait to try it. Can you please tell me if the dash is necessary and if yes, where does one buy it? Looking on line, it seems like a broth but in your recipe you only call for 1.5 tbsp.
Hi Shaila! Dashi imparts a unique, mild, fishy flavor I find to be very important. It’s the base of many Japanese dishes so I would highly recommend buying it since you will end up using it a lot if you like Japanese cuisine. I’m using the powdered version (just like powdered chicken stock) so it’s quite concentrated. You can find dashi in most Asian grocery stores or on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Katsuo-Dashi-Powder-Bonito-Stock/dp/B00JYF96OI
This sounds great. I’m definitely going to try it with tofu and with eggplant. I noticed that step four, in your instructions, is a bit off. I think you meant grated ginger not grated dashi?
Thanks for spotting the mistake Julia, it is indeed grated ginger!
I eat heaps of tofu but I am really lazy when it comes to preparing it.This has inspired me to lift my tofu game.
This looks so delicious — found it by searching for what to do with “firm tofu” on foodgawker and have bookmarked your beautiful site for further perusal. I do have one question though — prior to the broiling stage, when you say to “fry” the tofu strips, i see no instruction for adding any sort of oil to the pan, so presume you mean to sort of “dry fry” (my own invented terminology there) them until slightly brown, yes? Having just bought a bale of shelf-stable firm tofu at my local big box store, (I know, I know — can’t possibly be as good as fresh, but I’m a beginner 🙂 ) I I will absolutely be trying this soon. Many thanks!!
No oil is needed to fry the tofu as the goal is to get that ‘dry fry’ golden brown color. I like your terminology!
Oh my gosh, this looks so delicious! I am such a huge tofu fan, and this is totally up my alley! I think I’ll try this with some chickpea miso!
Thank you Rachael! Very easy to make too and so pretty 🙂