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 also bulk it up with vegetables, mushrooms or other ingredients. Possibly the easiest tofu dish to make at home!
If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy tofu besides adding it in 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 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 just kombu and tofu. Just make a savory umami-rich broth using kombu and then add some tofu in 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 can 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 7 flavor chili pepper).
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Hot Tofu (Yudofu)
- Gather all the ingredients.
To Prepare 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 under running water!
- In a donabe (Japanese clay pot), put dashi kombu and 1 ½-2 cups (360-480 ml) cups water. Let the kombu soak for 1-2 hours. Or you can steep the water with kombu slowly over the lowest heat, if you didn't have time to soak.
To Prepare the Sauce
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. Put sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan.
- When boiling, add bonito flakes (katsuobushi).
- 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’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 make homemade furikake (rice seasoning).
To Prepare 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 (you didn't have time to soak for 1-2 hours), bring it to a boil, too. Once boiling, add sake and salt.
- When boiling again, cut the tofu to any size you like (whole tofu, halves, 6 pieces, etc) and put it in the kombu dashi.
- When tofu is heated through, after several minutes, add mitsuba. If you plan to use other vegetables, make sure are they cooked through.
- Serve with the sauce and toppings of your choice while the tofu is hot.