Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat’s Tofu Hot Pot

They share the recipe for this dish that's typical of the monastic vegetarian cooking style known as ‘shojin ryori.’


WordsClémence Leleu

Ten Speed Press

‘Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, is the birthplace of shojin ryori, the traditional vegetarian Buddhist cuisine consumed in the city’s many temples. Tofu is a pillar of this cuisine and, to this day, artisanal manufacturers in Kyoto make it every morning before dawn. Tofu stew is a classic dish in this city, especially in winter’, reads the introduction to this hot pot recipe, taken from the book Japanese Hot Pots, co-written by culinary journalist Harris Salat and Japanese chef and author Tadashi Ono.

The duo share a recipe put together especially for vegetarians, who will discover how to replace dashi, which contains fish, with a non-meat version, to respect the precepts of shojin ryori as far as possible.

Japanese Hot Pots showcases salty broths and ingredients that are both healthy and easy to find all over the world, like seafood, poultry, green vegetables, roots, mushrooms, and noodles. Cooked using classic utensils, they require very little preparation and no special equipment. 

Harris Salat and Tadashi Ono have also written other cookbooks together, like Japanese Soul Cooking and The Japanese Grill

Serves 4


For the warijoyu sauce

125 ml soy sauce

62.5 ml dashi

2 tablespoons mirin

2 pieces kombu (around 15 cm)

2 packs silken tofu, each cut into 6 blocks (packs of around 450 g)

120 g shiitake mushrooms (around 8 pieces), stems removed and caps cut in half

1 negi cut diagonally, in 5-cm pieces

120 g napa cabbage, sliced

2 l water

Shichimi togarashi, to season

120 g shibori scallions, to garnish


To make the warijoyu sauce, combine the soy sauce, dashi, and mirin in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place the kombu in the bottom of a saucepan and then carefully place the tofu on top, in the centre. Arrange the shiitake mushrooms, the negi, and the cabbage around the tofu. Add the 2 litres of water.

Cover the saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Reduce heat to low, remove the lid, and leave to simmer until the tofu is warmed through, for around 10 min­utes. Monitor at regular intervals to make sure that the liquid doesn’t simmer too much, to avoid breaking the tofu.

Transfer the hot pot to the table. Serve the ingredients (without the stock) in small bowls, drizzle with warijoyu, and season with shichimi togarashi. Garnish with the scallions. Add more warijoyu if desired.

Suggested shime (accompanying dish): Zosui (rice soup). Add the remaining warijoyu and shibori scallions to the rice.


Japanese Hot Pots (2009) by Harris Salat and Tadashi Ono is published by Ten Speed Press.

Ten Speed Press