Still Agnostic About Tofu?

Try it in soup

Mark Bittman
2 min readSep 24, 2020


A bowl of kimchi soup.
Photo: Burcu Avsar & Zach DeSart

Over the years, tofu converts have told me that soup was their gateway preparation.

And it’s no wonder: All the things you think you don’t like about bean curd — its blandness and spongy texture — can be advantageous in a flavorful bubbling brew.

In this soup, tofu is a main ingredient, but fear not. Because tofu soaks up seasonings, it’s perfect for adding heft and texture to soup without changing the flavor much. Here, tofu is paired with kimchi, a key component of many Korean soups.

Kimchi Soup With Tofu

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1½ cups kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • ½ cup short-grain white rice
  • 12 ounces soft silken tofu, drained
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup chopped scallions for garnish


  1. Put the vegetable and sesame oils in a large pot over medium heat. When hot, add the kimchi and cook, stirring, for just a few seconds. Add 7 cups water along with the vinegar and soy sauce and bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily.
  2. Add the rice, stir, and once again adjust the heat so the mixture simmers. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until the rice is tender and the broth thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Add the tofu and stir to break it into pieces with a spoon. Let the soup return to a boil, then remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more soy and vinegar if you’d like, along with some black pepper. Garnish with scallions and serve.

— Recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian



Mark Bittman

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at