Ankake tofu is a nourishing comfort dish of pan fried tofu covered in veggies cooked in a thick, savory dashi sauce.
What is Ankake あんかけ?
“Ankake” refers to a dish that is covered in a savory dashi sauce thickened with starch. You can put ankake on just about anything – rice, noodles (ankake yakisoba), veggies, tofu, eggs (ankake omelettes/omurice), meat, you name it! Dashi forms the base of ankake sauce, so it’s packed with umami flavor – meaning it will instantly level up the flavor of anything you put it on. It’s a great all purpose sauce to have in your cooking repertoire, and it’s one of my go-to’s when I want a lighter meal that’s still warm, comforting, and nourishing.
- Firm Tofu ⟶ Drain and let the tofu stand for 5-10 minutes to release extra water, but no need to press.
- You can also use silken tofu and skip the hassle of pan frying the tofu, just heat it and pour the sauce over.
- Kombu Dashi ⟶ This gives that delicious umami flavor. Soak about 3g kombu in 200ml water at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Or use kombu dashi powder* (in general, use 1 tsp of dashi powder for 1 liter of water).
- Coconut Aminos* + Rice Vinegar ⟶ For extra savory, salty flavor and a bit of sweetness. I like to cut the sweetness of coconut aminos with a little bit of vinegar for more balanced flavor.
- I developed this recipe to be Plant-Based Whole30 friendly, but typically ankake is seasoned with soy sauce and sake or mirin.
- Starch ⟶ I prefer potato starch* for a silky mouthfeel and clear broth, but any starch should work.
Ankake Cooking Tips
Adjust potato starch amount to desired thickness ⟶ I like to make my sauce a bit thinner and then soak it up with rice, but if you want a thicker coating of sauce add an extra teaspoon or two of potato starch. Keep in mind that the sauce does thicken the longer the dish sits, as the potato starch from the tofu starts to soak it up.
Use your favorite veggies ⟶ My favorites are mushrooms (use a variety if available, such as shiitake, enoki, maitake, shimeji, king oyster), carrots, bell peppers, cabbage, bamboo, and onions.
Swap firm tofu for soft/silken ⟶ Soft tofu is delicious with ankake as well, and is quicker to make since you don’t have to pan fry it first. Just heat the tofu (in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or simmered in water/broth on the stove until warm), make the sauce, and pour it over the tofu!
More Tasty Tofu Recipes!
- Tofu Mochi Isobeyaki | 豆腐餅の磯辺焼き
- Japanese-Style Mapo Tofu | 麻婆豆腐
- Tofu & Eggplant Ginger Stri Fry | 豆腐となすの生姜焼き
- Crispy Sweet & Sour Tofu
If you make this ankake tofu, don’t forget to leave a comment/rating down below and tag me in your photos on instagram @ellielikes.cooking. I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
Ankake Tofu | あんかけ豆腐
- 16 oz firm tofu**
- 2 tbsp
- 2 pinches of salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 small carrot julienned
- 6 oz mushrooms sliced
- ½ bell pepper thinly sliced
- 200 ml kombu dashi**
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp
- 1 tsp rice vinegar**
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp potato starch
- 1 tbsp water
- Drain tofu: Drain tofu from its packaging, then let it stand for 5-10 minutes to release extra liquid.
- Mix sauce: Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Mix slurry: Mix starch and water together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Coat tofu: Drain tofu and cut into slices. Pat dry with kitchen towels and place the slices on a large plate or baking sheet. Sift 1 tbsp of potato starch over the tofu slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip the tofu and sift the another tbsp of potato starch over. Sprinkle with another pinch of salt and pepper.
- Pan fry tofu: Heat oil in a pan over medium high heat. Add tofu (try to keep some space between the slices or they will stick) and cook until brown on the bottom, 3-5 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, another 3-5 minutes. Transfer tofu to a plate.
- Cook veggies: Add the veggies to the pan and cook until mushrooms just start to soften, 1-2 minutes.
- Add sauce: Turn heat down to medium and pour in the sauce. Simmer about 3 minutes or until veggies are just tender.
- Add slurry: Give the slurry a quick mix then drizzle into the pan, stirring constantly. Remove from heat once the sauce thickens (it should thicken quickly after adding the slurry).
- Pour over tofu: Pour the sauce over the tofu and serve immediately.
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