Hot Pot with Yuzu

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By Barbara Hodge • Last Updated: December 25, 2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.
Hot Pot with Yuzu

Delicious Japanese hot pot with yuzu recipe served with tofu and vegetables, creating a gorgeous citrus aroma fragrance. Refine your vegetarian tofu recipe with Japan’s power food!

Hot Pot with Yuzu

I love Yuzu season in Japan! At my local Japanese grocery store recently, I spotted some perfectly in season Yuzu. I knew I had to make a hot pot with yuzu!

For those yet to come across it, Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit, a little bit like a lemon, but sweeter and with more flavor. If you haven’t discovered it yet, you’re going to love this vegetarian tofu recipe with yuzu.

Check out my yuzu hot pot recipe and how to use yuzu step by step!

Why I Love this Yuzu Nabe (Yuzu Hot Pot)

Are you making the same tofu dish for dinner again and again??

Don’t worry – I’ve been there! You find yourself getting tired and bored with tofu – but there’s so many great options to spice up your tofu repertoire!

This simple and quick vegetarian hot pot recipe will add a great new option, perfect for winter. It will leave you toasty warm from the inside out!

AND you get to experiment a new ingredient with my favorite hot pot recipe in Japan.

Ingredients for Hot Pot with Yuzu

Best Tofu for Yuzu Hot Pot: Find silky soft tofu. Cut tofu about less than 1 inch, so that it absorbs taste from dashi (the hot pot soup), yuzu and salt.

Kombu is all for umami, a subtle and yet tangible flavor.It’s Japanese dried kelp, particularly used for dashi. Kombu is dried plant, thick seaweed. It is fermented and preserved for years. That’s why it creates umami.

My favorites are Rishiri or Rausu brands. You can find kombu at any Japanese grocery store or specialty shop. Tell them that you are going to make a hot pot. They will find the best for you. If there is no Japanese shops around you, no worries. Try Asian food shops, or Amazon.

Yuzu: You can find it from December to February in winter at Japanese or Asian shops. If you find by chance, buy it without hesitation!

Yuzu kosho: Japanese flavorful citrus paste. This Japanese yuzu hot pot recipe needs yuzu kosho since the taste of the hot pot soup is subtle and tender. Get it at any Japanese grocery stores or Amazon. This recipe uses red yuzu kosho, and it perfectly worked for this recipe. Find out more details about how to make it at yuzu kosho recipe.

Ponzu: A citrus flavored secret Japanese cooking weapon. You’ll struggle not to add this to just about dish once you get to know it! Find it at any Japanese or Asian food shops. Or find my yuzu ponzu recipe.

Vegetables for Yuzu Hot Pot

Shiitake: Japanese mushroom, particularly works well with hot pots. Get the fresh one, not dried one.

Leek: When cooked well, leek gets tender and sweeter. The leek’s sweetness plays around with citrusy yuzu and tender umami of dashi in your mouth.

Vegetables for hot pot: Any winter vegetables work. Carrot is good for its color and sweetened taste. Chinese leafs and horse reddish will work too.

Useful Equipment for Yuzu Hot Pot

Equipments: Any stove top, but ideally a Portable StoveBig spoons to handle tofu and soup and Small Bowls. This dish is made for sharing – thus the portable stove.

Hot pot is called nabe or donabe in Japan. I use a ceramic nabe pot. It keeps cooked ingredients warm in the cold winter. If you do not have it, try a thick pan. You can still enjoy Japanese nabe.


A good thing is that once you get a stove top, kombu, ponzu and yuzu kosho, you can enjoy hot pots with any vegetables you like for an entire winter season!

How to Make Hot Pot with Yuzu

Tofu Hot Pot with Yuzu, Shiitake, Carrot, Leeks

Is this your first time for making a hot pot? No problem. This yuzu hot pot is super easy!

How do you make a hot pot at home?

It’s so easy and fun! Cut the ingredients first. Bring all the cutleries, chopsticks, small bowls and ingredients onto a dinning table.

Place a portable stove on there too (remember you can also cook on a normal stove top – but trust me, it is so much more fun to cook it on the table with friends and loved ones).

Add water and situate the pot onto the oven. Then, it’s ready!

Then enjoy adding ingredients into a pot. Turn on the heat and put a lid on. Enjoy talking and drinking until the hot pot is ready. Super easy, huh?

How to make hot pot broth

Here is an easy hot pot broth recipe.

The easiest and quickest way for this recipe is to just add all the ingredients at once from the beginning. Only yuzu is added just before it’s all cooked. While you cook, hot pot soup combines and develops the umami taste.

But if you have time and would like to experiment, the deeper level of umami from kombu, make dashi, hot pot broth, first.

Garnish with yuzu kosho, spring onion, sesame and ponzu on cooked tofu and vegetables. Add dashi and serve with homemade yuzu sake.

Enjoy! Itadaki masu!


Add heat to sesame seeds on a small frying pan. Once the seed made noise splitting a clack – only once though. Take them out from the pan and serve as a seasoning to garnish. You wll find their smells and taste are much better!


  1. Soak chopped kombu in the cold water of a hot pot for at least an hour.
  2. Turn on the lowest heat on the hot pot. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes to get boiled.
  3. Remove the kombu just before the water is boiled.
  4. Turn on the mid heat. Add hard vegetables like carrot. When the hard vegetables are half cooked, add other vegetables and tofu.
  5. Add sake and sea salt. Keep cooking about 15 minutes.
  6. Make sure tofu come up on surface. That’s sign it’s cooked. Just a minute before all cooked, add yuzu.

In total, the cooking time would take about 40 to 45 minutes.

Tips for the Best Yuzu Hot Pot

When you can add yuzu?

Add yuzu just before finishing cooking hot pot. If you do at the start, the citrus flavor disappears. When it’s over cooked, yuzu gets bitter.

Do you need yuzu kosho and ponzu?

Yes. The taste of this yuzu hot pot is subtle. It’s not spicy. This yuzu hot pot recipe is something you enjoy a subtle taste of umami in dashi. Yuzu kosho is spicy and adds a pinch. Ponzu adds a flavor.

Timing of cooked tofu is important

Tofu should not be over cooked. If you find tofu floating on boiled water surface, check it out. It’s mostly cooked. Keep heat low.

How to Keep Yuzu

You can preserve yuzu in the fridge for a month. Separate yuzu skin and juicy part of it and freeze for 3 months. Do not throw away skin. It gives aromatic flavor and fragrance.

Hot Pot with Yuzu

Hot Pot with Yuzu

Barbara Hodge
Delicious Japanese hot pot with yuzu recipe served with tofu and vegetables, creating a gorgeous citrus aroma fragrance on dinner. Transform your vegetarian tofu recipe into something new with yuzu!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese, Vegan
Servings 2 people


  • 400 g silken tofu
  • 50 g yuzu
  • 5 pieces shiitake
  • 50 g leek
  • 50 g carrot
  • 10 g yuzu kosho
  • ¼ cup ponzu sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 kombu (cut about 2×4 inches)



  • Add 1.5 liter of the cold water and kombu into a hot pot. The amount of the water depends on your hot pot size. Cut vegetables. Carrot should be thinner to save the cooking time. Cut tofu into less than 1 inch.
  • Add all the ingredients into a hot pot except for yuzu. Cook at the lower heat in the hot pot. Once it's boiled, add salt and sake.
  • Check out whether tofu is floating on the surface. If so, it's almost ready. Then add yuzu but do not cook it fully. Otherwise, the soup gets bitter. Simmer the hot pot for 1 to 2 minutes. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes all ingredients are fully cooked.
  • Place tofu, vegetables and soup onto a small bowl. Add sesame, spring onion and ponzu. Soak ¼ tsp yuzu kosho into each soup bowl.


*You can find my recipe pages for ponzu sauce, yuzu kosho or red yuzu kosho for this yuzu hot pot recipe if you use Japanese homemade ingredients.