Yudofu is a very simple tofu dish which is perfect to eat on a cold day. Hardly any preparation is required.
Yudofu (Tofu Hot Pot)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
This is a very simple tofu dish which is perfect to eat on a cold day. Hardly any preparation is required. The cooking time is just the time required to boil the tofu in water. If you use konbu (kelp) dashi instead of normal dashi for the dipping sauce, then this dish becomes a vegetarian dish. Alternatively, you can simply use soy sauce instead of making the dipping sauce.
Recipe Type: Side
Serves: 2
Author: Yumiko
  • 1-2 packs of silken tofu (Note 1)
  • 5cm (2") x 10cm (4") strip of konbu (kelp) cut into half
Dipping sauce
Garnish (optional, Note 2)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallots/ scallions
  • 1 tbsp katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes)
  • 1 tbsp julienned yaki nori (roasted seaweed sheet), about 2-3cm / 1 inch length
  1. Using a paper towel, gently wipe any dust off the konbu but do not scrub hard and do not remove the white powder stuck on the surface of the konbu as it contains umami.
  2. Fill the donabe/pot with enough water to cover the entire tofu. Add the konbu in the donabe/pot and leave it for 30 min without heat on. This is to let umami from the konbu come out and mix into the water.
  3. Take the tofu out of the pack and place it onto your palm. Cut the tofu into 6 cubes, i.e. one cut length wise and two cuts perpendicular to the first cut.
  4. Gently place the tofu into the donabe/pot with konbu in it and turn the heat on to medium heat.
  5. When the tofu pieces started moving due to the small bubbles from the boiling water, turn the heat off and serve immediately (Note 3) with the dipping sauce.
Dipping sauce
  1. Make ponzu and/or gomadare as per the recipe in Japanese Dressings.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a serving container.
How to Eat Yodofu
  1. Add dipping sauce of your choice to a serving bowl.
  2. Pick up a pice of tofu from the pot (only the tofu without liquid) and place it in the serving bowl.
  3. Top with garnish. You could also add garnish in the dipping sauce first if you like.
  4. You may need to top up with the dipping sauce half way if it becomes bland.
Recipe Notes

1. The size of tofu in a pack is about 11cm x 8cm x 4cm (4⅜" x 3⅛" x 1½"). I like the texture of silken tofu as it is more delicate but you can use firm tofu (momen-dofu) if you prefer. It is really your choice but do not use extra firm tofu as you will not enjoy the texture of the tofu. I have talked more about different tofu in the post Tofu With Vegetable Sauce if you are interested.

2. I had these three kinds of garnish on hand so I listed them here. But other garnish you could use are grated ginger, shichi-mi tougarashi (七味唐辛子, seven-flavour chilli peppers), momiji oroshi (紅葉おろし) which is grated daikon with dried chillies (make few holes in daikon, put chilli into each hole, then grate daikon).

4. If you have a portable cooktop, it would be ideal to cook the tofu at the table, especially if you are serving a few people. In that case, leave the tofu in a bowl full of water and when the water in the pot gets heated take as many tofu pieces as you can eat at one time and cook them in the pot. This way, you can eat perfectly cooked tofu every time.