By Request


Tofu acquires personality
with L’Uraku’s zingy sauce

Eleanor Urakawa makes mochi in a rainbow of flavors and colors. She's been sharing her technique in classes at the Lyon Arboretum (and in this section in an Aug. 7 article).

Today we return the favor, with the recipe for her favorite tofu dish, Kilauea Tofu from L'Uraku restaurant.

The dish consists of two large pieces of tofu, coated with potato starch and fried crisp. They're served with a soy-based sauce that's sweetened with mirin and sugar and spiced a bit with chile sauce.

Chef Hiroshi Fukui says the key is to serve the dish while both tofu and sauce are piping hot. This means you've got to be dextrous enough to deep-fry while thickening a sauce, so you might want to make the sauce a day ahead, then just heat it up while frying the tofu.

Kilauea Tofu

1 block tofu
1 cup katakuriko (potato starch)
Vegetable oil for frying
>> Sauce:
18 ounces (2-1/4 cups) dashi (recipe follows)
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) mirin
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Thai chile sauce
3 teaspoons katakuriko (potato starch), dissolved in 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, mix of oyster and shiitake
1/4 cup sliced bell peppers, mix of green, red, yellow
>> Garnish:
Katsuobushi (bonito flakes)
Diced chives
Grated ginger

Cut tofu into 8 blocks. Drain well on paper towels.

Dredge tofu pieces lightly in potato starch. Heat oil to 350 degrees and fry tofu until light brown and crispy.

To make sauce: Combine dashi, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and chile sauce in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in katakuriko slurry, adding it a little at a time and stirring as sauce thickens. Once sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, add mushrooms and bell peppers.

Serve tofu with sauce, topped with garnishes. Serves 4.

Note: If making the sauce ahead, leave out vegetables. Sauce may be kept, refrigerated, up to 2 days. Bring to a boil and add vegetables.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving:

470 calories, 23 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, at least 1,500 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrate, 23 g protein.*


6 cups cold water
1 6-inch piece dashi konbu (dried kelp), rinsed quickly in cold water
1 cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)

Place water and konbu in a pot over high heat. Remove konbu just before water comes to a boil. Stir in katsuobushi and turn off heat. Let sit 2 minutes, until katsuobushi settles in bottom of pan.

Skim and strain stock.

Faye Nakanishi called for a recipe for shoyu hot dogs, a dish so simple it is actually hard to find in cookbooks. Fukui provided his recipe (no, it's not on the menu at L'Uraku, but who says a chef can't eat simple food when off-duty?).

Shoyu Hot Dogs

8 hot dogs
3/4 cup sake or water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce

Sear hot dogs in a hot pan; remove.

Combine sake, sugar and soy sauce in pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Simmer until reduced by half. Return hot dogs to pan and continue cooking, turning hot dogs until they are nicely glazed.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Food Stuffs: Morsels

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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