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


Tonyu nabe / hot pot with soy milk broth

A somewhat rich hot pot with a very mild aftertaste.

1/2 of recipe:
413 calories; 46.5 g protein; 14.8 g fat; 21.8 g carbohydrate; 15.5 g net carbs; 707 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce for both broth and ponzujoyu; 980 mg with regular soy sauce); 74 mg cholesterol; 6.3 g fiber


1-2 fillets tara cod (170 g in photo)
scallops (150 g in photo)
1 small carrot (80 g in photo)
Handful mizuna (66 g in photo)
Handful saishin yu choy sum (72 g in photo)
1/3 pack kinugoshi soft tofu (182 g in photo)
2 large usuage deep-fried tofu
4 shiitake mushrooms (44 g in photo)
Tiny handful eringi king oyster mushroom (70 g in photo)

For hot pot broth
500 cc additive-free tonyu soy milk (see Notes)
400 cc dashi
2 tbsp sake
2 tsp soy sauce (not in photo)

For dipping sauce
2 tbsp ponzujoyu citrus soy sauce (see recipe to make your own)
1 tbsp dashi


Cut mizuna and yu choy sum into 4-5 cm. Slice carrot. Cut tofu into squares.
Prep-boil usuage, and cut into squares.
Remove root ends of shiitake and eringi, and tear eringi into smaller pieces.
Horizontally slice scallops into two. Cut fish into smallish pieces.


Mix ponzujoyu and dashi.


First enjoy yuba tofu skin (optional; see notes).
Put tonyu in nabe pot, and heat on medium heat.
When tonyu starts to warm up, reduce heat to low, and let yuba form on surface.

Pick up yuba with chopsticks, and eat with dipping sauce.


Add dashi, sake and soy sauce, raise heat to medium high, and add goodies, beginning with those that take time to cook.


When cooked through, enjoy with dipping sauce.

Add more goodies as those in pot disappear.

  • Use plain soy milk made with only soybeans and water (see recipe to make your own soy milk). The above amount contains 6mg sodium. Store-bought soy milk in the US usually contains salt and sugar (and flavors, even when labeled as "plain"), and its sodium content averages around 100 mg per 240 cc (about 200 mg per 500 cc). Additive-free soy milk probably is available at Asian grocery stores in the US. In Japan, look for soy milk that says 成分無調整 [lit. ingredients not adjusted], which implies soybeans and water are the only ingredients and there are no additives such as sweetener and oil.  
  • Making yuba tofu skin takes time (several minutes per film); if you do not have the patience or do not care about yuba, skip the yuba-making process.
  • Scallops and mizuna make a great combination.
  • Usuage deep-fried tofu tastes so good in this nabe and is highly recommended. It tastes best after softening and becoming fluffy in the broth.
  • As with any nabe, there is no rule on what exactly to put in tonyu nabe. Among types of meat, chicken (bite-size pieces or slices) and pork (thin slices) are common choices for this nabe.
  • Some people add miso and/or white sesame paste instead of soy sauce to the broth for a richer note.
  • After all goodies are finished, squeezing some lemon (1/2-1 small lemon) in the pot creates small tofu-like lumps in the broth, which taste nice. The remaining broth can be used as a soup base for noodles or a zosui rice dish.
  • Among all goodies, scallops are the highest in terms of sodium content. Overall sodium intake goes down by more than 200 mg if they are excluded.
  • The above nutrition figures are based on the following: 85% of ponzujoyu citrus soy sauce is consumed with goodies, and 70% of hot pot broth is consumed with goodies (some broth is drunk after discarding remaining broth and ponzujoyu in bowl).

(Last updated: March 21, 2016)

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