With just tofu and dashi kombu, you can enjoy this warm, protein-rich, and nourishing vegetarian dish at home. If you‘d like, you can bulk up your Hot Tofu with vegetables, mushrooms, or other ingredients. Yudofu is possibly the easiest tofu dish to make at home!
If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy tofu besides adding it to miso soup or hot pot, this simple and vegan-friendly dish called Hot Tofu, or Yudofu (湯豆腐) in Japanese, might be your new go-to menu! Yudofu is light and healthy, and it comes in handy when you are looking for a comforting warm dish that you can prepare in a few minutes!
How to Prepare Hot Tofu (Yudofu)
This dish is unbelievably easy and the only ingredients you need are kombu and tofu. Just make a savory umami-rich broth using kombu and then add some tofu to the broth. Yes, that’s it!
If you’re not sure what kombu is, you can read a little bit more about this ingredient. You can get the kombu in the Japanese isle of typical Asian markets so hopefully, you are able to find it easily. If you don’t have an Asian market nearby, you can order online as well.
Of course, you are welcome to add any vegetables to add extra nutrition and color; however, today I kept it simple by adding Japanese herbs called Mitsuba to enjoy the simple flavor of tofu. It would be best if you could purchase fresh tofu or make your own tofu!
How to Enjoy Hot Tofu (Yudofu)
How do you eat it? There are many sauces that go well with warm tofu. You can use soy sauce, ponzu, sesame sauce, or sauce made with miso. Today I made a special soy sauce-based sauce with bonito flakes (katsuobushi) to add more dashi flavor instead of just soy sauce (this sauce is not vegetarian). I also sprinkle scallions and shichimi togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice).
Hot Tofu (Yudofu)
For the Sauce (optional)
- Gather all the ingredients.
To Prepare the Kombu Dashi
- Remove any dust or particles on kombu with a damp cloth (but leave the white powdery substances which contribute to the umami flavor in the stock). These days kombu is much cleaner and you don‘t really have to wipe it. Never wash it under running water!
- In a donabe (Japanese clay pot), put 1 piece kombu (dried kelp) and 1½–2 cups water. Let the kombu soak for 1–2 hours. If you‘re short on time, you can steep the water with kombu slowly over the lowest heat.
To Prepare the Sauce
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. To a small saucepan, add ¼ cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sake, and 1 tsp mirin.
- When boiling, add ½ cup katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes).
- Mix well with chopsticks and cook for 1–2 minutes.
- Pour the sauce into a small serving dish. You don’t have to strain it; it’s okay if some bonito flakes go into the sauce.
- These leftover bonito flakes have a nice flavor and you can use it as filling for Okaka Onigiri or to make Homemade Furikake (rice seasoning).
To Prepare the Hot Tofu
- When the kombu dashi is ready (after 1–2 hours), bring the dashi to a boil on medium heat. If you were slowly heating up the kombu dashi (because you didn‘t have time to soak for 1–2 hours), bring it to a boil, too. Once boiling, add 1 Tbsp sake and ¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt.
- When boiling again, cut 1 medium-firm tofu (momen dofu) to any size you like (whole tofu, halves, or 6 pieces, for example) and put it in the kombu dashi.
- When the tofu is heated through, after several minutes, add the mitsuba (Japanese parsley). If you plan to use other vegetables, make sure are they cooked through.
- While the tofu is hot, serve it with the sauce and add the optional toppings of your choice, such as chopped green onion/scallion, grated ginger, shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) and yuzu kosho (Japanese citrus chili paste).