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Posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 4:15 a.m.

Tofu Hot Pot is spicy and cleansing dish

By Peggy Lampman


Tofu Hot Pot

Peggy Lampman | Contributor

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This delicious recipe is the ultimate "cleanser" — make a double batch and eat it every day; you'll be ready for a triathlon in a week.

Kimchi, pickled napa cabbage, lends a wonderful sour, savory and spicy flavor in this recipe. You may make it yourself, or purchase it at most local groceries. Beware —even the mild kimchi may be too spicy for some palates, if so, you may rinse it before using.

If you’re interested in further Hot Pot lore, history and insight, check out my Chicken and Soba Noodle Hot Pot recipe.

Time: 45 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 12 cups


2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 large shallot, minced (3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons fresh ginger, cut into matchstick, julienned slices
8 cups chicken, vegetable, or beef stock
2 tablespoons-1/4 cup soy sauce
1-2 cups kimchi*, coarsely chopped
2 pounds bok choy washed, cored and, separating stem end from leaves, slice into long, 3/4-inch-thick strips
7 ounces shiitake mushrooms, woody stems removed and sliced (4 cups)
1 1/2- 2 pouds extra firm tofu, sliced into 1 1/2-inch x 14-inch sliced pieces
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
6 ounces uncooked soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)


1. In a large pot or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add shallot and ginger and cook 3-4 minutes or until just tender and fragrant.
2. Put the stock, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 cup kimchi and bok choy stem ends into the pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the broth to simmer for 10 minutes or until bok choy stems are just tender. Add mushrooms, boy choy greens, and tofu and additional soy sauce and kimchi to taste, if desired, and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes or until mushroom are tender. Stir in chopped cilantro, if using.
3. Meanwhile, while soup is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook soba noodles according to package instructions.
4. Add the noodles to the soup before serving; or divide the noodles between six bowls, pour steaming soup over noodles and serve.

*Select hot or mild kimchi, according to your palate. I usually select mild kimchi and let individuals add chili paste or red pepper flakes according to individual taste.

Peggy Lampman is a real-time food writer and photographer posting daily feeds on her website and in the Food & Grocery section of You may also e-mail her at