Simmered Koyadofu 高野豆腐の煮物

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  • Made with freeze-dried tofu, this Simmered Koyadofu soaked in soy-dashi broth is a classic Japanese side dish to enjoy all year round. You can prepare ahead of time and serve it chilled, hot, or room temperature.

    Simmered koyadofu with snow peas in a black ceramic bowl.

    Koyadofu (高野豆腐) or freeze-dried tofu is a common pantry staple you can always find in the Japanese kitchen. When you’re running out of fresh ingredients or desperately need one more dish to round up a meal, you can always reach out to Koyadofu. Today I’ll show you a classic Simmered Koyadofu (高野豆腐の煮物) recipe. It’s easy to prepare and makes a great meal prep dish.

    Watch How to Make Simmered Koyadofu

    Made with freeze-dried tofu, this Simmered Koyadofu soaked in soy-dashi broth is a classic Japanese side dish to enjoy all year round. You can prepare ahead of time and serve it chilled, hot, or room temperature.

    Koyadofu | Easy Japanese recipes at

    What is Koyadofu?

    The origin of Koyadofu (高野豆腐) can be traced back to the Kamakura period (1185 to 1333). Records show that the tofu product was developed by the monks at the Buddhist temple on the Mount Koya in Wakayama prefecture. As the mountain is located in higher elevation and experiences harsh winter, the monks accidentally discovered freezing was a good way to preserve fresh tofu. The well-preserved food became popular and spread from Mt. Koya to the Kansai region.

    Healthy High Nutritional Food

    Koyadofu may look like a hard sponge, but did you know it is prized for its exceptionally high nutritions?

    The flash freezing and cooling method allow the soy proteins to mature in a natural manner. Through the process, the tofu develops new textures and profiles while preserving the maximum nutritious value of the tofu. The phytonutrients found in tofu can also become more concentrated and more bioavailable. It makes an excellent source of protein, iron, calcium, and can help to lower the risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Another great example of a naturally preserved food.

    Koyadofu | Easy Japanese recipes at

    Does Koyadofu need to be reconstituted and rinsed?

    Some brands (like Misuzu brand above) say there is no need to reconstitute Koyadofu. However, I still encourage you to soak the tofu in hot water and wash before simmering in the broth.

    In my step by step images below (and in the video), you can see cloudy water coming out from the tofu. Therefore, I highly recommend cleaning the koyadofu first in order to yield a clear broth and allow the tofu absorbs more flavors.

    Simmered koyadofu with snow peas in a black ceramic bowl.

    Helpful Tips on Serving Simmered Koyadofu

    • Serve chilled, hot, or at room temperature. My favorite is chilled Simmered Koyadofu. On a hot day, the taste of slightly sweet dashi broth seeping out from the koyadofu is quite refreshing.
    • I like mine to be a bit sweeter as koyadofu is a rather plain dish.
    • Make ahead of time and let the koyadofu soak in broth for a longer time.
    • You can serve blanched greens, simmered root vegetables or shiitake mushrooms together with Simmered Koyadofu.
    • When you pack koyadofu in your bento, squeeze out the broth from the tofu and pack.

    The Simmered Koyadofu stores well in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, and freeze beautifully for up to a month. It is a simple yet elegant side dish that can grace any Japanese or Asian meal. I hope you enjoy!

    Simmered koyadofu with snow peas in a black ceramic bowl.
    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

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    5 from 2 votes
    Simmered koyadofu with snow peas in a black ceramic bowl.
    Simmered Koyadofu
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: koyadofu, tofu
    Servings: 5
    Author: Nami
    • 5 pieces koyadofu (freeze-dried tofu) (85 g)
    • 2 ½ cup dashi (I use vegan/vegetarian-friendly Kombu dashi. See Notes.) (600 ml)
    • 5 snow peas
    • 2 Tbsp mirin
    • 2 Tbsp sake
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (I use Usukuchi (light color) Soy Sauce)
    • 4 Tbsp sugar
    • ½ tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)
    1. Gather all the ingredients.
      Simmered Koyadofu Ingredients
    2. The box says you do not need to soak, but I still recommend washing the koyadofu. Put the koyadofu in a bowl and pour hot water. The koyadofu will expand in about 10 minutes.

      Simmered Koyadofu 1
    3. While you wait for the koyadofu to expand, put dashi in a pot. I use cold brew kombu dashi for this recipe, leaving the kombu behind. Add mirin and sake.

      Simmered Koyadofu 2
    4. Add soy sauce, sugar, and salt.
      Simmered Koyadofu 3
    5. Mix all together and slowly bring it to boil.
      Simmered Koyadofu 4
    6. While waiting for the broth to boil, wash the koyadofu in clean cold water once it expands. Be careful with the koyadofu as the inside still contains hot water.

      Simmered Koyadofu 5
    7. Like a sponge, let the koyadofu soak up the clean water and push it out a few times to clean. Hold the tofu flat between your hands. Squeeze the cloudy water from the inside of the koyadofu by pressing hard.

      Simmered Koyadofu 6
    8. Change the water in the bowl several times to clean all the koyadofu. Thoroughly wash out the cloudy water by repeating this process several times. Give it a final squeeze.

      Simmered Koyadofu 7
    9. Cut each koyadofu into 6 square pieces.
      Simmered Koyadofu 8
    10. Once the dashi-soy broth is boiling, add the koyadofu and cover with a drop lid (Otoshibuta – if you don’t have one, make one with aluminum foil). You do not use a regular lid on top. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.

      Simmered Koyadofu 9
    11. When it’s about to finish simmering, prepare the snow peas by removing the tough strings. Add the snow peas in the saucepan.
      Simmered Koyadofu 10
    12. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Then transfer the koyadofu to a glass container.
      Simmered Koyadofu 11
    13. Make sure the glass container is big enough to hold the koyadofu and the broth. I stack the koyadofu neatly.
      Simmered Koyadofu 12
    14. You can serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled after refrigerating for a few hours or overnight. Put the koyadofu, snow peas, and broth in a bowl and serve.

      Simmered Koyadofu 14
    To Store
    1. You can keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to a month. If it’s frozen, reheat before serving.

      Simmered Koyadofu 13
    Recipe Notes

    Soy Sauce: I use Usukuchi Soy Sauce (light color soy sauce) to keep the broth light in the color.


    Kombu: I use cold brew kombu dashi.


    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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