Yudofu (Yu Tofu) is Tofu cooked in hot water (Yu) in a pot. It is a very simple Nabe hot pot dish. Usually the hot water is not actually just water but Kombu (dried kelp) broth to give the dish more flavor. It is typically served with tangy Ponzu sauce for dipping. You can use Mentsuyu instead for dipping sauce if you don’t like Ponzu.
Nabe (Nabemono) hot pot dishes are usually full of vegetables and fish and meat, but Yudofu is only Tofu. You could put some white long onions or mild fish like cod in the same pot, but then it becomes closer to regular Nabe. You may think it is a little boring, but Yudofu is about enjoying simpleness and the delicate flavor of Tofu, so try it first without any other ingredients.
There are mainly two kinds of Tofu, Kinugoshi and Momen. Kinugoshi has a softer and smoother texture, and Momen is firmer and dense with a stronger soy bean flavor. For Yudofu, we think soft Kinugoshi is a better choice for the feeling in your mouth, but use whichever you like.
Here in sunny southern California, we may not need Yudofu to get warm fortunately, but we eat it anyway just because it tastes good. For Japan (or anywhere that has seasons and real weather), however, it is the best winter food to cope with those long cold months.
- 4 cups (about 1litter) water
- Kombu (dried kelp) 4" (10cm)
- 1 package (14oz or 400g) Tofu
- 1-2 green onions, thinly cut
- Put water and Kombu together in a pot and let boil, then turn down heat to medium low.
- Cut Tofu into 8 blocks and add to the pot. Cover and simmer for 7-8 minutes.
- Serve with Ponzu, green onions, and Shichimi.