The outside will be crisp and golden; the inside will be “raw” — soft and white.
Atsuage can be served on its own with a sauce of soy sauce and grated ginger, or you can chop it up into pieces and use as an ingredient in Japanese dishes such as stir fries, or you can simmer whole pieces of it in a dashi stock.
To make your own:
- cut a block of tofu in half through the middle widthwise;
- cut each piece in half to make four triangles in total;
- press to remove excess water;
- dry on paper towel;
- deep fry until golden brown;
- then to remove excess oil, either blanch with boiling water, or pour boiling water over the pieces.
“Atsu” means “thick”; “age” means “deep-fried.”