With gourds, pumpkins, and bright rust-coloured leaves falling around us, the season of soup has officially arrived. Warm foods comfort and fill our bellies just right in the evening after a chilly fall day.
One-pot dinners have always been my go-to for cooking for my family; it's so handy to make a meal with minimal preparation that can be left to simmer on the stove with little supervision. I'm a subscriber of that cheesy infomercial line and love to "set it and forget it" as often as possible. Some might call it laziness, but you can make some incredibly delicious meals quite simply.
Take this spicy tofu hotpot, for example. It's a great way to switch up dinner if you want to try something different from classic Western soups and stews. The Chinese and Korean tofu hot pot is traditionally cooked and enjoyed directly on the table on a heated element. It's a social venture into cooking that can be a ton of laughs and fun.
We took some firm tofu and created an Asian-inspired mushroom hot pot full of spicy aromatics like garlic, chilli, and ginger. The soup base is a vegetable broth, but you can also use chicken if you eat meat products. We tossed in some lo-mein noodles, shiitake mushrooms, and topped the soup with fresh cilantro.
The result is flavourful, warm, and hearty - the tofu adds a great hit of lean protein that will help this vegetable hot pot stick to your ribs and keep you full for hours.
This tofu hot pot recipe can be prepped, cooked, and cleaned up in 30 minutes from start-to-finish, leaving more time in your evening to spend relaxing rather than cooking.
How to make a Hot Pot
Serves: 6 people
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons chile-garlic sauce, or to taste
- 4 cups firm tofu, water-packed
- ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 4 cups tender bok choy greens, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces Chinese-style (lo mein) noodles, fresh
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, fresh, stems removed and sliced
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- Drain and rinse firm tofu using a tofu press; pat dry. Cut the drained block of tofu into 1-inch cubes.
- Heat canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add in ginger and garlic.
- Cook while occasionally stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add shiitake mushrooms and cook until slightly soft, 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in brown sugar, broth, soy sauce, and chile-garlic sauce. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Add bok choy and tofu. Cover and simmer until greens wilt, approx. 2 minutes.
- Raise to high heat and add in the lo-mein noodles, submerging them in your broth.
- Cook, covered, until the noodles are tender, 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Stir in the fresh cilantro.
- Serve and enjoy!
Serving Size: 1 1/2 Cups
Content Per Serving:
214.2 calories; protein 12.3g; carbohydrates 30.9g; dietary fiber 3.9g; sugars 4.6g; fat 5.4g,
Tofu hot pot FAQ
Can I cook this directly on the table, like at a hot pot restaurant?
If you have a countertop burner or hot plate, you can place the burner in the centre of the table and cook this hot pot while you enjoy the company around you. Prep and chop all of your ingredients beforehand, place them on a cutting board on the table, build your spicy hot pot soup base, and have fun!
What type of tofu can I use in this recipe?
We recommend a firm or extra-firm tofu for this recipe, as it holds its shape in the hot pot. Silken tofu is far too creamy and will fall apart.
Do I need to drain my tofu?
Yes, you should drain your tofu before you cook with it. The easiest way to drain your tofu is by using a tofu press, as it only takes 15 minutes to press fully. If you don't own a press, you can pack your tofu between two cutting boards or flat plates and leave for 2-3 hours, but preferably overnight.
Can I add other ingredients to my hot pot?
You can dig into your creativity with this dish. Add virtually anything into your spicy hot pot recipe that you enjoy. Green onions, julienned carrots, fresh bean sprouts, and chicken or beef are just a few of the ingredients you can try. The only rule of thumb is to keep the pieces of the food you're adding thin and approximately the same size as each other so that they cook at the same pace.
We hope you enjoy making this spicy tofu recipe for your friends and family, or with them tableside!