Friday, October 12, 2012

Tofu Vegetable Hot Pot

Hot pot is a communal dish served in many southeast Asian countries, where a big pot of simmering broth is placed in the center of the table; leafy vegetables, noodles, mushrooms, and other tidbits are added to the broth, then ladled out into individual bowls.

I had a (mostly) wonderful experience in Cambodia with hot pot, where the table was set with one bowl of chicken stock and one of hot water for the vegetarians and vegans in the group.  Until, that is, the well-meaning host dropped egg noodles and meat tidbits into the hot water! Well, with this homemade version, you don't have to worry about any cross-contamination. The preparation is also simplified for an American kitchen, cooked over the stove in one pot and then served in individual portions. The method might be different, but the same great flavors are there.

If you're not up for the heat from the serrano chile, seed it first. If you like your food fiery, use 2 serranos.

Do all your veggie prep in advance - this recipe moves quickly.

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and matchstick-cut fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 thinly sliced serrano chile
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 and 1/2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1/2 cup (1/4-inch thick) diagonally cut carrot
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup (1-inch) sliced green onion
  • 2 cups hot cooked jasmine rice
  • 4 lime wedges
1. Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium and add the ginger, turmeric, serrano, and garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Add the cabbage, shiitake, and carrot; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in the water, soy sauce, sea salt, and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil. 

4. Drain the tofu and cut into 1-inch cubes.  Add to the pan, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Cut the tomatoes into 1-inch thick wedges.  Add to the pan and simmer for 3 minutes.  Stir in the basil and green onions.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the rice.  Place 1/2 cup hot rice in each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with 2 cups soup and 1 lime wedge.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (2 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice, 1 lime wedge), Calories 407 

Tasting Notes:
A little burst of Cambodia in my kitchen! I was nervous that I should have seeded the chile since I'm a wimp about heat, but it ended up being perfect. Oh, fiery for sure, when a slice of serrano was on my spoonful, but tamed by the rice and the tofu. But for the most part, the chile provided a warming kind of heat to the meal, rather than spiciness. I loved the sponge-y texture of the tofu in this recipe, as well as every little bit of veggies, from the slivers of ginger and shiitake to the occasional crunch of carrot. Even the tomatoes were great, and I worried they'd seem out of place. The broth had a silky, complex flavor from the mix of coconut and soy sauce. Minus one point because, ok, if I was going to enjoy it to the max, I would have seeded the serrano.



  1. this looks and sounds amazing.

  2. Thanks Glo! Having leftovers tonight and it's still great one day later.

  3. 3 Studies PROVE How Coconut Oil Kills Waist Fat.

    The meaning of this is that you actually burn fat by eating Coconut Fats (in addition to coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medicinal journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world upside down!