This Japanese recipe for tofu hotpot is a great light and healthy dish for the cold weather. "Nabe" refers to the Japanese clay pot used for cooking this recipe. Often the pot will be placed in the middle of the table and shared.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (7 votes)


  • 10 cm piece konbu (giant kelp)
  • 600 ml water
  • 350 g chicken thigh fillets or fish fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 bunch shungiku or bok choy
  • 12 shiitake mushrooms
  • 250-300 g tofu block (momen goshi), cut into large pieces

Ponzu and daikon dipping sauce

  • 1 piece daikon (Japanese white radish)
  • 1-3 dried red chillies, to taste
  • 3 tbsp ponzu (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


To make the ponzu and daikon dipping sauce. Peel a piece of daikon, punch 3 or 4 holes in it with a chopstick then "plug" the holes with dried red chili. Grate the daikon and chilli on a fine grater. The result will be very watery. Wring it gently in a piece of clean cheesecloth or muslin. Add it to the ponzu and set aside. 

Make a dashi stock by placing the konbu and water in a nabe and bringing it to simmering point. Remove the konbu.

Add the chicken or fish to the stock, then the vegetables, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the tofu and simmer for an extra 2 minutes.

Serve with a ponzu and daikon dipping sauce and dip vegetables, tofu and meat into the sauce from your tofu nabe.


• Use ready-made ponzu (this is available from Japanese and some Asian grocery stores. It contains sudachi (citrus juice), soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar).