Kyoto cuisine is famous for its delicate subtle flavor, just like this dish. Most of Kyoto dishes rely heavily on a good dashi stock, then subtly flavored with soy sauce (typically the light variety, or usukuchi 薄口醤油). If you want to draw out the full flavor of this dish, you really must spend some time making your own dashi stock, but even if you opt for shortcut using dashi stock granules, this is still a very delicious dish with subtle flavor. The next bit of culinary term is ankake sauce (餡かけ ソース ), which simply means dishes covered in a thick starchy sauce.
This dish is super easy and super fast to make. It took me about 10 minutes from start to finish, including all the prep work and cooking time! The key is to start by boiling your broth, then while waiting for the broth to boil, prep the tofu, shimeji, scallions, and make the katakuriko (Japanese potato starch) slurry. The rest of the steps are easy, just add tofu and shimeji into the broth, simmer for 5 minutes, then the heat up and add the katakuriko slurry to thicken the sauce, and its done. Just scoop it into serving bowl(s) and garnish with scallions. If you cook this dish in a nabe (Japanese clay pot), you can serve it directly from the nabe. Easy, delicious, and healthy.
- 1½ cup dashi stock (or 1½ cup water + 1 teaspoon instant dashi granules)
- 1 tablespoon usukuchi (Japanese light) soy sauce (*)
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste) (**)
- 1 block firm tofu (about 400 gram), cut into 8-12 blocks
- 1 packet shimeji mushroom, cut away the roots and tear into pieces
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced diagonally
- 2 tablespoon katakuriko (Japanese potato starch)
- 2 tablespoon water
- Place dashi stock, usukuchi soy sauce, mirin, and salt in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil. If you own a nabe (Japanese clay pot), you can make this dish in a nabe and it can be served directly from the nabe.
- Add tofu and shimeji to the pot, cover with a lid, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and turn the heat to medium-high. Stir the katakuriko slurry into the pot and keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
- Turn the heat off, transfer to a serving bowl (if not using a claypot), and garnish with scallion. Serve immediately.
(**) You probably need more salt with regular soy sauce.