Slice the tofu into 1.5 cm thick bite size pieces, and drain all excess water with kitchen paper towels. Cut the leek into thin diagonal slices.
Put the sugar and water into a heat-safe container and dissolve the sugar.
When it's dissolved, add the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, ketchup and chili pepper and mix well, then add the leek.
In a bowl mix the tempura flour, water and ao-nori seaweed, and dip the tofu from step 1 into this batter. Deep fry in oil heated to a rather high temperature until light and crisp.
As soon as each tofu piece has been fried until light and crisp, immediately put into the container from Step 2, mix rapidly and transfer to a serving plate. (Attention: If you're too slow, the tempura coating will fall off the tofu!)
If you have small children, you may want to omit the red chili pepper or add it without cutting it up...
Story Behind this Recipe
I was chosen to be a tester for "Yasashii Osu" brand vinegar, so I thought up a recipe that was healthy and easy to make.
At Step 4, mix together quickly and serve on a plate right away! If you let it rest for too long, it will get rather limp and saggy. It's also good if you increase the amount of ao-nori seaweed in the tempura batter. I used a very mild vinegar called "Yasashii Osu", so it's very mellow and easy to eat.