Recipe: Japanese Tofu and Vegetable Chowder

By Mariko Nakamura
July 6, 2015
Food & Drink

Kencho-jiru is a soup that is a typical example of Japanese home cooking, but in fact it is also a Buddhist "shojin ryori" dish that originated at the Kencho-ji temple in Kamakura. It is characterized by its heartiness and the strong, earthy flavor of the ingredients. Many non-vegetarians cook this soup with fish-based stock, but this recipe uses the authentic vegetarian stock, or "shojin dashi." Enjoy this delicious soup and the feeling of zen that comes with eating authentic Japanese Buddhist cuisine.


Serves three.

What You Need

1 liter water

200 milliliters vegetable stock (shojin dashi)

1 and 1/3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/8 a block of konnyaku

30 grams burdock

30 grams lotus loot  

30 grams carrot

40 grams daikon

20 grams dried shitake mushrooms

1/6 a block of firm tofu

2 tablespoons sesame oil

What to Do

  1. Soak the dried shitake mushrooms in the water for 30 minutes to soften them.
  2. Chop the vegetables, konnyaku, and tofu into roughly even pieces.
  3. Heat sesame oil in a pan and fry all vegetables (except mushrooms) and konnyaku until softened.
  4. Add the water and mushrooms into the same pot and simmer on low heat for 30 to 60 minutes.
  5. Add the soy sauce, vegetable dashi and tofu to the soup just before serving.