Go Back
+ servings
Simmered Beef and Tofu (Niku Dōfu)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Remove water from tofu
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins

You could say that Simmered Beef and Tofu (Niku Dōfu) is a simpler version of Sukiyaki, but it is not a hotpot. It is served in a bowl as a dish. The flavour is very similar to Sukiyaki, with its sweet soy flavour. It is a hearty food full of protein.

Don't forget to see the section 'MEAL IDEAS' below the recipe card! It gives you a list of dishes that I have already posted and this recipe that can make up a complete meal. I hope it is of help to you.

Recipe Type: Main, Side
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 1 pack momen tofu (300g / 0.7lb, note 1)
  • 150g / 5.3oz beef very thinly sliced and cut into bite size pieces (note 2)
  • 100g / 3.5oz onion cut into wedges (note 3)
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms halved
Simmering Sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 100ml / 3.4fl oz water (note 4)
  1. Place the tofu on a cutting board lined with kitchen paper.

  2. Halve the tofu lengthwise but do not move the halved pieces. Then, cut the tofu perpendicular to the first cut into 4 equal portions so that there are 8 tofu blocks in total. Do not remove the blocks.

  3. Wrap the entire tofu block with more kitchen paper and leave for 10 minutes. This will remove excess water from the tofu.

  4. Put the Simmering Sauce ingredients in a frying pan or a shallow saucepan, mix and dissolve sugar.

  5. Add the onion wedges to the pan and bring to a boil.

  6. Shift the onion pieces to one side and add the beef slices. Turn the beef over for about 2 minutes until the colour of all the beef slices changes to brown (note 5).

  7. Transfer the beef to a plate/bowl and loosely cover with foil.

  8. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan, place a drop lid on top.

  9. Reduce the heat to gently simmer and cook for 7 minutes with a lid on.

  10. If the sauce is reducing too fast, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.

  11. Remove the lid and the drop lid, put the beef back into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes to heat up the beef, then turn the heat off. There should be about 5-6 tablespoons of sauce left in the pan.

  12. Transfer the ingredients to individual serving bowls or a large serving bowl to share, clustering each ingredient together.

  13. Pour the simmering sauce over and serve while hot.

Recipe Notes

1. You need to use firm tofu/momen tofu. Silken tofu/kinugoshi tofu is too soft for today’s dish.

You can also use yaki-dōfu (grilled tofu) if you can buy it. Yaki-dōfu is firmer than momen tofu due to its grilled surfaces. My post Negima Nabe explains how to make yaki-dōfu at home if you are interested.

2. I bought thinly sliced frozen beef suited to sukiyaki. A sukiyaki slice is quite large, so I cut it into bite-size pieces. The beef slices do not have to be high-quality.

You can make very thinly sliced beef from a block of tender meat. You can find how I make thin slices from a block of meat in my post Beef Rolls with Asparagus.

3. There are no rules as to how to cut onions. You can slice the onion into 1.5cm / ⅝" wide pieces instead.

4. The amount of water required can vary depending on the strength of the heat and the surface area of your pot. You can adjust it while cooking the vegetables.

5. If you see a lot of scum rising up, remove it but try not to take too much sauce with it.

6 Nutrition per serving.

serving: 414g calories: 421kcal fat: 21g (32%) saturated fat: 6.6g (33%) trans fat: 0.0g polyunsaturated fat: 4.5g monounsaturated fat: 7.6g cholesterol: 50mg (17%) sodium: 936mg (39%) potassium: 689mg (20%) carbohydrates: 24g (8%) dietary fibre: 3.4g (14%) sugar: 17g protein: 32g vitamin a: 0% vitamin c: 6.2% calcium: 35% iron: 28%