All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Kenchinjiru / root vegetable and tofu soup

Warm and hearty. This is originally a temple dish cooked with kombu kelp and dried shiitake mushroom stock. As with many temple vegan dishes, sesame oil adds depth and a rich taste.


10-15 cm gobo burdock root
1/2 carrot
3-4 cm daikon radish
1/3 momendofu (firm) or yakidobu (broiled)
1/4-1/3 konnyaku yam cake
1 green onion
300-350 cc dashi
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil (not in photo)


Prep boil konnyaku.
Rub salt, rinse, and boil for a few minutes.


Diagonally cut gobo, carrot and daikon.
Soak gobo pieces in water to eliminate bitterness and prevent discoloration.
With hands, tear konnyaku into a size that matches vegetables.
Cut tofu into matching size. Thinly slice green onion.


In a pot, heat sesame oil, add gobo and carrot, and cook for a few minutes.

Add daikon, and stir.

When daikon is coated with oil, add konnyaku, and cook for a minute or so.


Add dashi.

When dashi boils, skim, add sake, and cook until vegetables are soft.


Add 1/2-2/3 amount of soy sauce, and cook for a few minutes. Taste, and add more soy sauce if necessary.


Garnish with green onion; serve hot.

  • Prep boiling of konnyaku removes the smell of the solidifying ingredient (calcium hydroxide).
  • Tearing konnyaku with hands instead of cutting with knife helps it absorb flavor.
  • Diagonally cutting root vegetables gives each piece a big surface area and helps vegetables cook faster and absorb flavor without compromising on a chunky texture. 
  • When in a hurry, thinly slice vegetables (rounds for gobo and carrot, quarter rounds for daikon), and cut/tear tofu and konnyaku into matching size.

No comments: