You will never come across a dish like this at any Japanese restaurants in Australia, but this is what ordinary Japanese people often eat. Ingredients are simmered in Dashi Stock, and seasoned with Sugar, Soy Sauce and Mirin. Today I cooked ‘Kōya Dōfu’ (Freeze-dried Tofu), a Japanese food that originated in the mid 16th century and still popular.


3 to 4 Servings


50 to 60g Dry Kōya Dōfu
*This is the product I used. It is already cut into smaller pieces.

4 to 8 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
1 Carrot *thickly sliced

1 cup Dashi Stock *OR 1 cup Water and 1/2 teaspoon Dashi Powder, see ‘Method 1’
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Mirin OR Sake (Rice Wine) *Mirin adds extra sweetness

  1. Clean and wash Shiitake, then soak in plenty of water for 1-2 hours or until completely soft. Drain but save the water if you use it for cooking. Wash them well again. Cut in half if large.
  2. Soften the Dry Kōya Dōfu according to the instruction on the package, but the common method is soaking them in warm water. Place warm water in a baking dish or something similar, place Dry Kōya Dōfu, and allow to soak for 5 to 10 minutes or until soft.

  3. Place all the Soup ingredients in a pot. Saucepan is not recommended as it is too small. A frying pan can be used if you have a fitting lid.
  4. Add Shiitake and Carrot, cover with a lid, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Gently press softened Kōya Dōfu to remove excess water. If large, cut into the size that is easy to eat. Add to the pot, shake the pot so that all ingredients are simmered in the soup, in a single layer if possible. Simmer for 10 minutes.