Stewed Koya-dofu and Ground Chicken

Koya-dofu is a freeze-dried tofu. When you reconstitute it, it acquires a distinctive, enjoyable sponge-like texture.

Stewed Koya-dofu and Ground Chicken
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Eiko Oba




Beans & Tofu



Calorie count is per serving

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 3 pieces koya-dofu

    Freeze-dried tofu.

  • 100 g ground chicken
  • 1/3 package daikon radish sprouts (30 g)

    Sprouts with a slightly pungent taste.

  • [A]

    • 2 tbsp mirin

      Sake made with alcohol and rice-malt, mixed into glutinous rice, then fermented. In Japan, it is used to add luster and to sweeten ingredients.

    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 2/3 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
    • 1/2 tsp ginger juice
  • [Potato starch dissolved in water]

    • 2/3 tbsp potato starch
    • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp sake



Soak the koya-dofu in hot water to rehydrate, then rinse and squeeze out any excess moisture and cut into quarters. Cut off the root ends of the daikon radish sprouts and cut them in half.


Add the vegetable oil to a pot and preheat over medium heat, then add the ground chicken and stir-fry to break apart. When the chicken has changed color, sprinkle on the sake and add 500 ml of water. When it comes to a simmer, reduce heat slightly and skim off any foam, then stir in [A]. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 5 min.


Add the koya-dofu to the pot, then cover and simmer for an additional 5-6 min. Pour the [potato starch dissolved in water] over top and stir in to thicken, then add the daikon radish sprouts.


Rehydrating Koya-dofu
(1) Place the koya-dofu in a single layer in a large metal tray, then pour in enough hot water (50-60°C) to cover. If heating the water in a pot, 50-60°C is approximately when small bubbles begin to form at the bottom of the pot.
(2) To prevent the koya-dofu from floating, place a light cutting board, wooden lid, plate, or other relatively light weight on top, and let soak for 20-30 min, or until the water has cooled.
(3) After absorbing the water, the koya-dofu should be larger, and it should have a whitish color compared to when dry. Rehydrated koya-dofu should have a somewhat sponge-like springiness to it, and weigh 3-4 times as much as when dry.
(4) Remove the koya-dofu from the water and stack 2-3 slices at a time. Press each stack between your hands to press out excess moisture. Pressing out the excess moisture will prevent the finished dish from becoming watery, and will help the koya-dofu soak up seasonings and simmering broth.