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


Kabocha-dofu no akadashi / Japanese pumpkin tofu with red miso soup

A variation of gomadofu [sesame tofu] featuring kabocha pumpkin. Among the many ways to enjoy this creamy tofu, serving it with blanched kabu Japanese turnip leaves and pungent karashi mustard in red miso soup is my favorite. Kabu leaves retain their spiciness even after blanching, and together with karashi mustard they create an interesting spark in your mouth when paired with mild and sweet kabocha. This dish alone is quite small and is more suitable for a very light meal or as part of a course-type meal.

1/2 of kabocha-dofu no akadashi recipe:
45 calories; 1.6 g protein; 1.0 g fat; 7.8 g carbohydrate; 6.5 g net carbs; 109 mg sodium (with reduced-sodium miso); 0 mg cholesterol; 1.3 g fiber

Kabocha-dofu only (1/6 of kabocha-dofu recipe):
35 calories; 0.7 g protein; 0.8 g fat; 6.5 g carbohydrate; 5.5 g net carbs; 8 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.0 g fiber

For kabocha-dofu
(One 12 cm x 7.5 cm x 4.5 cm mold)
200 cc kobudashi (small piece kombu kelp soaked in 200 cc water)
20 g kuzuko arrowroot starch
100 g kabocha pumpkin puree (approx. 150-160 g kabocha with skin & seeds; microwaved and strained)
1/2 tbsp tahini or nerigoma white sesame paste

For kabocha-dofu no akadashi (no photo)
2 x 1/6 of above kabocha-dofu
      Dashi + water mixture (equal parts; enough to almost cover kabodha-dofu)
150 cc dashi
1/3 tsp sakekasu sake lees
2/3 tsp aka red miso
1/4 tsp karashi powder, mixed with 1/4 tsp water
2-3 kabu Japanese turnip leaves (blanched, cut into 3 cm sections)


In a pot, put kuzuko and some kobudashi, and mix well.


Add tahini, pureed kabocha pumpkin and remaining kobudashi, and mix well.


Heat on medium low.
Keep stirring bottom with spatula until sesame mixture thickens, 5-10 minutes.
When thickening, reduce heat to low and stir for another 5+ minutes, until it starts to look doughy.


Wet inside of mold, and pour kabocha-dofu mixture.

Drop mold from 4-5 cm (2 inches) high a few times to let out any large air bubbles.
Flatten top surface with spatula, place plastic film directly on top, and smooth out.
Chill in fridge until set (30+ minutes). 


Kabocha-dofu is ready when set.

Cut into a desired shape/size, and serve.
(Served with karashi + water mixture and soy sauce + dashi mixture in photo.)

To make akadashi, bring a mixture of dashi and water to boil, place kabocha-dofu cubes (2 x 1/6 of above kabocha-dofu recipe), remove from heat, and cover to warm. In a separate pot, heat dashi with sakekasu. Mix if necessary to dissolve sakekasu. When hot, add red miso, and mix. Remove from heat (never boil the soup after adding miso paste). Serve warm kabocha-dofu in individual bowls, pour miso soup, top with karashi, and place kabu leaves. Ready to serve.

  • Kabocha-dofu itself keeps in the fridge for a few days.
  • Kabocha-dofu's size per serving is up to you. A small size fits our soup bowls better and also is easier to pair with other dishes.
  • If kabu leaves are not available, daikon radish leaves and spicy mustard greens are good alternatives. Kaiware daikon bean sprouts are also a good option among greens that do not need to be blanched.
  • Any kuzu-based tofu (plain sesame, with fava beans, corn, etc.) can be served with soup in this way.
  • Nutrition figures of entire kabocha-dofu are: 211 calories; 4.4 g protein; 4.5 g fat; 39.2 g carbohydrate; 35.2 g net carbs; 50 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 4.0 g fiber
  • When preparing this ahead of time, finish up to placement of kabocha-dofu in hot dashi & water mixture and making miso soup. With karashi paste ready and kabu leaves cut (and not cold), final assembly goes very quickly, as you only need to reheat the miso soup.

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