Total Time
1hr 15mins
Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr

This is from "The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan" by Mari Fujii. It comes from Kenchoji Temple, the first Zen buddhist temple in Japan. It is a wonderful example of shojin ryori, or "temple cuisine". The ingredients suggest this is a winter soup, although for health and nutrition, this soup can certainly be served in any season. The author suggests that instead of the soy sauce (or in place of part of it), you can substitute miso or sake without losing authenticity. Although this looks like a lot of directions, it's actually a very simple preparation. If you can boil water, stir fry, and use a knife to slice vegetables, you have all the skills you need. Once you make this, you won't even need to look at the directions. Note: prep time and cooking time does not include the 2 hr soaking of the konbu to make konbu stock, but does include all other cooking and soaking times.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 piece konbu, approximately 6 inches square
  • 2 12 cups water
  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 12 ounces burdock root
  • 2 12 cups water
  • 10 12 ounces Konnyaku, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 10 12 ounces daikon radishes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 7 ounces carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 12 ounces fresh lotus root, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (for preparation)
  • 4 tablespoons sake
  • 14 ounces firm tofu (one block)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (for the soup)
  • 3 12 ounces Baby Spinach, cut into 2 inch lengths (or other leafy green)


  1. *********** Making Konbu Stock **************.
  2. Wipe the konbu with a damp towel, but you don't need to remove all the white powder on the surface.
  3. Place 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan, add the konbu, and leave to soak for 2-3 hours.
  4. Place the saucepan over medium heat and remove the konbu just before the water boils.
  5. Note: The konbu can be saved and used in other dishes.
  6. The stock can be used immediately or refrigerated for a few days.
  7. ************ Rehydrating Shiitake Mushrooms ***********.
  8. Rehydrate the dried shiitake mushrooms in water for about 30 minutes, until soft; dried mushrooms have a more intense flavor than fresh, so don't substitute.
  9. Remove the stalks, then cut the caps into 1/4 inch lengths.
  10. Note: Save the soaking water -- you'll be using it later.
  11. ***************************************************************.
  12. Scrub the burdock root, then scrape the skin off, cut into bite-size pieces, place immediately in cold water and soak for 5 minutes, then drain.
  13. Boil the konnyaku in 2 1/2 cups water for 2-3 minites, then drain.
  14. Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan, then add the burdock root, shiitake, konnyaku, daikon, carrot, lotus root and 2 Tbs of soy sauce and stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  15. Add the shiitake water, konbu stock and sake to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  16. Skim any froth and cook on low heat until the vegetables are tender.
  17. Without draining the tofu, crumble into lumps and add to the saucepan along with the remaining 4 Tbs of soy sauce.
  18. Add the baby spinach and wait about a minute until the spinach wilts.
  19. Serve and enjoy!