Japanese Hot Pot with Tofu and Kudzu | The Food Party! | Laura Stec | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

View all posts from Laura Stec

Japanese Hot Pot with Tofu and Kudzu

Uploaded: Aug 27, 2019

Anyone make it to Eating Green on the Green last Sunday? Send us a report please!

As requested, here's the recipe of the photo from last weeks post on Eating Green. It comes from my book Cool Cuisine, Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming (Gibbs Smith 2008), and incorporates a tool you may be unfamiliar with, an utoshibuta, or wooded lid. This is used to hasten evaporation from the vegetables and heighten the flavor by achieving a "water-less cooking technique." If you don't have one, but want to experiment with this technique, use a plate that fits inside your pot.

Another new ingredient for you may be kudzu, which is the dried and ground up root of the kudzu plant. Unlike cornstarch or arrowroot, this thickener creates a more silky end result. It's considered a healing food in macrobiotics, good for unsettled stomachs, and calming to the body and spirit.

Japanese Hot Pot with Tofu and Kudzu
Serves 5

A quick, soothing dish, easy enough for any day, interesting enough for a dinner party.

2 cups cooked grain of choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons kudzu (powdered or chunk style, arrowroot or cornstarch may be substituted)
4 teaspoons water
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch rounds
1 head cauliflower, broken into large florets
3 cups stock, plus extra for deglazing pan
4 ounces smoked packaged tofu, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Mirin, toasted sesame oil, brown rice vinegar (or lemon juice) to taste (optional)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger and or garlic
Salt to taste
Green onions or nori, sliced thin, for garnish

Soak utoshibuta in water ½ hour before.

Prepare 2 cups of cooked grain as you choose, or use the “Grain Cooking Chart” on page 181 in chapter 10 of Cool Cuisine to find a new way to cook grain.

While grain is cooking, heat a medium-size, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add oil and onion, stir and top with utoshibuta. Cover pot and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. While onions cook, dissolve kudzu in a small bowl with 4 teaspoons water. Set aside. After 5 minutes, move onions to one side of the pot; add half of the carrots. Spread onions on top of the carrots, and then add the remaining half of the carrots on top of the onions. Add a little stock if needed. Cover with utoshibuta and lid for pot, cook over medium heat about 7 minutes. Add cauliflower florets on top of the carrots. Add a little stock if needed. Cover with both lids again and cook an additional 7 minutes or so, until vegetables are tender. Add tofu and stir.

Combine stock with soy sauce, mirin, toasted sesame oil, vinegar/juice (start with 1/2 -1 teaspoon of each) and ginger/garlic. Bring to a simmer. By now the kudzu/water mixture will have hardened in your bowl, so stir well and add the mix into the pot, bring to a boil, stirring until sauce thickens. Check consistency; add more kudzu (diluted in water) or stock if needed.

Garnish with green onions, sliced nori, and Condiment Plate (see page 183 – Cool Cuisine).

-photos by LSIC

What is it worth to you?


There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Almanac Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

My Holiday Wish List for Menlo Park
By Dana Hendrickson | 1 comment | 3,016 views

Burning just one "old style" light bulb can cost $150 or more per year
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 2,968 views

Banning the public from PA City Hall
By Diana Diamond | 26 comments | 2,119 views

Pacifica’s first brewery closes its doors
By The Peninsula Foodist | 0 comments | 1,823 views

Premiere! “I Do I Don’t: How to build a better marriage” – Here, a page/weekday
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,391 views


Support local families in need

Your contribution to the Holiday Fund will go directly to nonprofits supporting local families and children in need. Last year, Almanac readers and foundations contributed over $300,000.