Ankakedoufu (simmered tofu wit an sauce) could be your new favorite way to enjoy tofu. If you enjoy thick savory dashi and soy sauce based seasonings, you might thoroughly enjoy this tofu dish! It’s only got a handful of ingredients, but the texture and flavor would make you think otherwise. have you tried ankake yet? perhaps this could be the beginning of a long tasty relationship!
What is Anakake あんかけ?
‘Ankake’ literally translated means ‘sauce poured’ or ‘covered’.
if you’ve never had it before, it’s like gravy but without all the fat.
and despite having no fat, it’s got plenty of flavor and richness to it.
and if that’s not enough for you…
you might be curious how to enhance the flavor of the ankake even more….
how can you enhance the flavor of this ankakedoufu ?
tofu has an extremely delicate and mild flavor.
and it’s also somewhat porous so will allow you to season it easily by simmering.
because of that, one of my favorite ways to enhance the flavor of tofu is to simmer it in dashi.
and that’s the secret – to simmer the tofu in dashi!
if you haven’t tried it yet, you might be in for a delicious surprise.
you can use this for other types of tofu dishes too like hiyayakko (japanese style cold tofu)
although subtle – it makes a difference
if you haven’t yet, try it out and see for yourself!
you know you cant ever really have too much umami…
can you ?
How do you make ankake?
at it’s core ankake is extremely simple to make.
most recipes call for a dashi base along with soy sauce, sake and or mirin and sugar if you like things sweet.
in order to thicken the an, you have to use a starch of some kind.
the key to making the an sauce with a smooth and even consistency is quite simple. here’s a brief overview in 5 steps
- suspend the starch in a little bit of water to make a slurry
- quickly stir the starch slurry in to your hot liquid (dash broth)
- after adding it, give the an sauce a good mix or two so it’s evenly distributed
- bring the sauce to a gentle boil to ensure it’s been completely activated (thickening will be obvious -what was once soupy and watery should be come nice and thick like a glaze or gravy.)
- serve immediately while hot
note: in general, ankake is best eaten the day it’s made. refrigeration and reheating tends to break down the starch and thickness so it may not be as thick in texture as leftovers.
How do you use ankake?
there are many ways you can enjoy ankake. Some examples include
- stand alone with tofu or protein of choice
- with sauteed vegetables
- with noodles like udon or pan-fried chukamen (chinese noodles) with vegetables
- with rice (donburi rice bowl)
For additional umami, gently cook your tofu in dashi stock for a few minutes before topping with the ‘an’.
watch the video below to see how we made this – Japanese tofu recipe | Ankake Doufu (Savory Dashi Sauce) 🍚
if you enjoyed this post and or are looking for more japanese tofu recipes, consider buying my tofu cookbook – Tofu Ryouri – Simple Japanese tofu recipes to cook healthier at home