Vegan Soymilk hotpot (Tounyuu-nabe) and Veggie kayu (congee)!

so apparently I didn't post my recipe for a basic nabe/hotpot (called yudofu) but I guess I'll post this one first! Nabe is the perfect dinner for winter because it is easy, and cooks on the table, so the pot doesn't get cold. Also it fills you up! especially soymilk-nabe.

Soymilk Hotpot (Tounyuu-nabe)

What you will need
is a hotplate and shallow saucepan or large frypan
and the following ingredients:
fry the onions
and boil the kabocha and sweet potato.
- half an onion, chopped
- oil for frying
~ kabocha squash, gutted and thinly sliced
~ japanese sweet potato, sliced
~ carrot, sliced
*3 - 4 cups water
*2 tbsp mirin (or cooking wine and a bit of sugar)
*1 tsp soy sauce (preferably usu-kuchi)
*1 tbsp shio-koji (not sure what to substitute in N. America, but you could try a mixture of sea salt and cornstarch...)
- 1/2 - 1 cup organic plain soy milk (I actually used sweetened plain soymilk for this, so if you want you can try adding a bit of brown sugar or corn syrup to taste)
~ sliced boiled renkon (lotus root)
~ shiitake (sliced or whole), enoki, or oyster mushrooms (or other varieties of asian mushrooms)
~ Kyo-age tofu (or your choice of deep-fried tofu), sliced/diced/prepared however you like it
~ Mizuna (not sure about the English translation but you could try to substitute arugula or other light-tasting cookable greens)
~ shirataki / konjac noodles, rice vermicelli, or other clear noodles
- about 10 cm naga-imo/yama-imo, peeled and grated (do this last!) - for extra fibre, omega-3 fats and nutrition, mix in a spoonful of ground flax seed, hemp hearts, or ground sesame to the grated naga-imo.
note: ingredients marked with ~ are optional or you can add as much/as little as you can eat.
add the soymilk and cook a bit, and you're ready
to add the rest of the ingredients :)


  1. put your hotplate on the table and gather everyone around for a real epic mealtime.
  2. fry the onions on medium until light brown. add kabocha and sweet potato, water, and bring to a boil.
  3. add*ingredients and stir well. once the squash is a bit softer, add the carrot. simmer for a couple of minutes, add the soy milk, and stir well. cook until these ingredients are almost ready to eat.
  4. add the rest of the ~ ingredients, arranging neatly in sections. lower the heat to between medium and low, put the lid on, and cook for 2-5 minutes or until all ingredients are cooked and soft.
  5. when it's ready, put about a tablespoon of grated naga-imo in your personal bowl, and on top of that ladle the veggies/tofu/noodles that you want, then a few ladlefuls of the soymilk soup. mix the soup and naga-imo together. you will have a melty, rich and creamy soup for your soymilk nabe perfect for cold winter days. 
  6. as you take things from the pot, put more things in so there is always food cooking in the pot. 
What your soymilk-nabe should look like before cooking through.
clockwise from top:
renkon (lotus root), sweet potato/kabocha/carrot,
kyo-age tofu, enoki, mizuna, shiitake
in the bowl and ready to eat!

Veggie Rice Porridge

How about another recipe??  I came up with this "cheesy" veggie kayu (congee?) when I was trying to make lazy risotto but added too much water. Enjoy this vegetable rice porridge on a chilly day!

What you will need
day-old rice/cooked rice that has gone hard
3x water to rice (give or take)
1 - 2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp shio-koji (or maybe potato starch and salt)
kabocha squash, gutted, sliced and with the skin cut off
enoki, cut as such:
a pinch of black salt
2 - 3 tbsp nutritional yeast, or to taste
a pinch of curry powder, or to taste
mizuna (or arugula?) 
dried parsley or basil


  1. bring rice, water, and oil to a boil in a pot. you're going to boil this rice until it gets mushy so add plenty of water along with the shio-koji.
  2. boil until soft.
  3. chop up the sliced kabocha and add it to the pot. boil until soft. 
  4. add enoki, black salt, curry powder, and nutritional yeast. stir well and simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  5. spoon into bowl and garnish with plenty of mizuna and parsley flakes.


new year, new start!

hello all,
I am very happy to say that i just bought my ticket to vancouver for Tom and Crystal's wedding :)
I'm going to depart from Kansai International on the 17th and I'll arrive the same day at 11:40. it's a 9-hour flight. I'm flying with JAL because I love JAL so very much (seriously they are the best. I was not paid to say that)
I'm flying back on the 22nd so I'll be back in Japan on the 23rd at around 4 pm. but I get back to KIX around 10 pm... ooh. D: I think it'll be worth it to not spend my birthday on a plane or at work, though :)
A special shoutout to Tom and Crystal, I hope you guys are taking it easy even with all the preparations! and I seriously can't wait to see everyone. I can't believe it's been exactly a year and 3 months now.

as for my new life in wakayama, things are going okay so far. I finally have my coveted "kotatsu" (pictured right) which is a blanketed table with a heater underneath. it feels so good... most japanese people say they fall asleep sitting in the kotatsu... but I never fall asleep in it, because I'm super awesome. too bad canadians can't have kotatsu in their houses... there's nothing better on a cold day than to sit down to hotpot and a nice toasty kotatsu! and to top it all off, in the summer it turns into a regular table by the power of love and pure magic.

I am also enjoying cooking for myself a lot! I make a lot of hotpot lately since it's winter but I have also been experimenting, for instance, kabocha squash tofu scramble made with nutritional yeast and black salt (I got those from my internet vegan food exchange friend... black salt has the taste of eggs so it's perfect to put in tofu scramble!)

my job is also going pretty well. a bit slowly though. I have various types of classes I'm teaching, and on thursdays or fridays I go to the elementary schools to teach the english teachers there. mostly though, I've been making teaching materials. it's a pretty good time, and I think lessons will start to pick up in April-may (when the school year starts).

I have also gotten back into calligraphy a bit more. I'm trying to make my writing better for next year's new year's cards... I'm also looking for a place to learn judo in wakayama... but most dojos are only for children. I think there must be at least one place that can teach me, though :) if not maybe i will try karate!