Yudofu (Japanese Simmered Tofu)

Posted by on April 23, 2010 in Blog, Japanese Cuisine Favorites, Soup, Vegetables & Vegetarian | 7 comments

 

Last night was one of those night’s where Bebe E and I were home alone for dinner.  It was quiet and lonely…   :(

For the past several years bebe dada’s been involved in a fundraising committee for a large charity in our county, and last night was the kick-off planning meeting for their annual winter gala.

I slightly dread these evenings when he’ll be home late (or if he’s traveling) because it means the cavalry won’t show up as usual around 6:00 PM to give me a little reprieve from bebe duty. Seriously, it’s not a complaint… I feel fortunate to be able to stay home with my bebe.  :)

And, don’t get me wrong, bebe E is a very good bebe – sleeps through the night, easy-going with the exception of stranger anxiety – but she has her days when she’s very fussy.  When she’s like this, it’s typically because bebe mama dragged her ALL over town the day before and she’s tired, or because her teeth are bothering her.  (We affectionately call her “one-tooth” since she likes to smile and flash her first tooth.  Actually, it’s more like “one-and-a-half-teeth” since her second tooth is coming in too.)

So, last night I felt very fortunate AND relaxed because bebe E had a great day and was happy, playful and content.  This made me crave comfort food.  To me, this usually means simple Japanese foods such as natto and gohan, miso shiru, or udon.  That’s when I remembered I made homemade dashi the night before last, and it reminded me of my mom’s yudofu that I ate as a child – that’s what I would make for dinner – a nice warm bowl of tofu.  It was perfect for a chilly and quiet evening.

First, I warmed up homemade sweet peas for bebe E and she ate well with the exception of doing “motor-boat-mouth” only once.  I’d like to think she’s beginning to understand my disciplinarian-mad-mama tone of voice when I ask her to please stop, but she just smiles at me…  Maybe she does get it, but just chooses to ignore me, and smiles in defiance… a sign of future issues?!?  Nah.  :)  She’s probably just smiling because she’s happy… right?

Afterwards, I made yudofu and enjoyed delicious Japanese comfort food while watching the NBA playoffs and my fave Lakers…  LOSE!!!!!  Arrrrrrrghhh… seriously, boys…  how could you ruin my perfectly wonderful evening!

Mom’s Yudofu

  • 4 cups dashi (Japanese stock)
  • 1 block of soft tofu (bean curd)
  • 1 piece of dashi konbu (dried kelp)
  • Katsuo bushi (dried bonito flakes) for soup and garnish (leave out for vegetarian option)
  • Chopped negi (green onions) for garnish
  • Shoyu (soy sauce) – optional seasoning

All these years, when my mom made yudofu for us, I never knew she was making homemade dashi while the tofu was simmering in the pot.

If you’d like, you can make homemade dashi ahead of time in a large batch and freeze in small portions. Since I already had some in the fridge, I just poured this into a pot, added a block of tofu, some katsuo bushi, and let this simmer just until the tofu was hot. So quick and simple, yet perfectly delicious!

I called my mom to let her know I was making yudofu for dinner and shared with her my epiphany – - – that after all these years I finally realized that her yudofu was based upon her homemade dashi.

This is how my mom makes yudofu and dashi.

1) Add a piece of dashi konbu to a pot.  Just a small piece of the big sheet will suffice.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to medium-low heat.

 

2) Slice soft tofu into 8 pieces.  The first slice is horizontal across the center of the block of tofu.  The next slices are vertical.

3)  Place tofu gently in the pot.  I prefer soft tofu for yudofu but be careful because it falls apart very easily.  There’s something about creamy, soft tofu in a warm broth that really hits the spot.

4) Add 1/2 cup of katsuo bushi to the pot and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. For a vegetarian option, don’t add katsuo bushi.

5) Plate tofu with broth and serve while it’s piping hot.  Garnish with chopped negi (green onions) and katsuo bushi (optional).

Although the yudofu and broth have a very nice, mild flavor, we always add just a dash of shoyu on top and enjoy.  Perfect!

Itadakimasu!

Judy | bebe mama

 

Yudofu (Japanese Simmered Tofu)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Dish Dish, Main
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups dashi (Japanese stock)
  • 1 block of soft tofu
  • 1 piece of dashi konbu (dried kelp)
  • Katsuo bushi (dried bonito flakes) for soup and garnish (leave out for vegetarian option)
  • Chopped negi (green onions) for garnish
  • Shoyu (soy sauce), to taste
Instructions
  1. Add a piece of dashi konbu to a pot.  Just a small piece of the big sheet will suffice.  Add water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to medium-low heat.
  2. Slice soft tofu into 8 pieces.  The first slice is horizontal across the center of the block of tofu.  The next slices are vertical.
  3. Place tofu gently in the pot.  I prefer soft tofu for yudofu but be careful because it falls apart very easily. Medium firm tofu can also be used.
  4. Add ½ cup of katsuo bushi to the pot and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes. For a vegetarian option, don't add katsuo bushi.
  5. Serve tofu with broth. Garnish with chopped negi (green onions) and katsuo bushi (optional). Season with shoyu (soy sauce).

7 Comments

  1. avatar

    I’m planning on making a Japanese meal next week and this is a perfect side dish! Do you have a good oyakodon recipe you can share?

    • avatar

      So glad this will be part of your Japanese meal! My mom used to make oyako donburi when we were younger but back then it wasn’t a favorite, although I like to order this when I’m out. Let me check-in with mom and do a little research and see if I can make it this week and get a recipe together for you. :)

  2. avatar

    Dear Friend!
    Greetings from Shizuoka, Japan!
    Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment!
    Japanese recipes are becoming increasingly popular abroad with many good reasons!
    People will thank you for making them more accessible!
    Best regards to you, bebe and dada!
    Robert-Gilles

    http://shizuokagourmet.wordpress.com/
    (in case WordPress takes you to my Gantasy novel!)

    • avatar

      Hello there! Thank you for the compliments! :) I look forward to sharing more. Love your food posts!

  3. avatar

    The pleasure is mine!
    Robert-Gilles

  4. avatar

    I made this tonight! Thank you SO much for the recipe, it was delicious! I didn’t take any pictures though… I accidentally cut it into 16 pieces instead of 8 haha!

    • avatar

      Hi Roxan, Yay! I’m so happy it turned out well! 8 – 16 – it’s all tofu, right? :) Sorry I didn’t get a chance to get to oyakodon before your Japanese dinner but it’s on it’s way – promise! -judy

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