Garlic Chilli Oil Tofu Nabe

This garlic chilli oil tofu nabe is a 20-minute meatless hot pot recipe. Thanks to the Japanese garlic chilli oil (taberu rayu), the hot pot soup base has a flavourful depth. It is perfect to eat this nabe (hot pot) during rainy and cooler days. I made this hot pot due to leftover tofu and hot pot vegetables from previous recipes. I also used shirataki noodles to lower my carb intake :P

More Garlic Chilli Oil Uses:
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Garlic Chilli Oil Tofu Nabe Recipe


  • I am using a 1-litre, 9-inch (23-cm) Japanese-style nabe pot. The shallow depth of a nabe pot is useful for cooking and serving the hot pot directly.
  • If you have a portable cooker on the dining table, it keeps the nabe warm and bubbling throughout eating. You can have a small tray of vegetables at the side to continue cooking on the table. You can also add some cooked rice to the hot soup to make porridge towards the end of the hot pot session.
  • Buying a hot pot veggies set from the Japanese supermarket (I got mine from Don Don Donki) is a huge time saver. It is also a cost efficient way for to enjoy a variety of vegetables without buying too much.


Garlic Chilli Oil Tofu Nabe Ingredients

These are the main ingredients for my garlic chilli oil tofu nabe:

  • (A) Japanese garlic chilli oil (taberu rayu) – It comes with small pieces of crispy garlic soaked in a savoury chilli oil. This is the essential special seasoning ingredient in this hot pot. The two popular brands available locally are S&B and Momoya. S&B is slightly hotter than Momoya. I like both brands and I decided to use the momoya brand when I made this recipe.
  • (B) Hot pot ingredients. This is a meatless hot pot so firm tofu (leftover from making teriyaki tofu) is the main protein here. You can substitute the tofu with any desired seafood or meat. I used napa cabbage to line my nabe pot, followed by 2 large pieces of each ingredient – carrot, shiitake mushroom, corn, daikon and scallions. As a finishing touch, I used my favourite home-grown shungiku (chrysanthemum garland) to garnish the hot pot.
  • (C) The main soup base is an instant dashi soup pack. This particular brand I am using requires only 3 minutes of boiling.
  • (D) I used shirataki noodles to reduce my carb intake. You can substitute this with rice or udon.


Garlic Chilli Oil Tofu Nabe Steps

How to make and serve this garlic chilli oil tofu hot pot:

  • Boil napa cabbage, carrot, corn & daikon with dashi soup pack and water.
  • Season the soup with garlic chilli oil.
  • Arrange the rest of the hot pot ingredients aesthetically in the claypot. Cook for a few minutes and serve the hot pot on the dining table.
  • Garnish the tofu with some crispy garlic pieces and spring onions.
  • The shungiku (chrysanthemum garland) only need to be dipped in the hot soup for a few seconds. Don’t overcook this precious greens.

Garlic Chilli Oil Tofu Nabe Recipe

You can find Japanese garlic chilli oil at Japanese supermarkets (Donki/Meidi Ya) and major local supermarkets (e.g. NTUC/Sheng Siong). The most popular brands in SG is the Momoya (used in this recipe) and S&B. I like both brands – Momoya is not hot at all (to me) so it is suitable for everyone, while S&B is slightly hotter for those who prefers some heat in their dishes.

You can cook this hot pot on the stove top and ladle the soup to serving bowls. Alternatively, transfer the hot pot to a portable cooker to enjoy slowly at the dining table, with a tray of more ingredients top ups. You can also add some cooked rice towards the end of the hot pot session to make rice porridge if desired.

Check out the more tips, ingredients and step-by-step photos on the previous page.


  • 1 dashi soup pack
  • 150g sliced napa cabbage
  • 2 large slices carrot
  • 2 thick slices daikon (white radish)
  • 2 pieces cut corn
  • 600ml water
  • 2 cut negi (Japanese scallion)
  • 1 packet shirataki noodles boil drained noodles for 3 minutes, rinse under running tap water & set aside 
  • 3 tbsp Japanese garlic chilli oil (taberu rayu) to taste
  • 2 large shiitake mushrooms make a decorative x on each mushroom
  • half block (vertically halved) firm tofu cut to 4 pieces

Suggested Garnishes

  • generous handful of shungiku (chrysanthemum greens/tang oh)
  • 1 tsp crispy garlic from the garlic chilli oil
  • 1 tsp chopped spring onions

You also need:

  • 1 to 1.5 litre Japanese nabe pot (shallow design)


  1. Prepare soup base. Place napa cabbage in a Japanese-style nabe casserole. Add dashi soup pouch, carrot, daikon, corn and 600ml water. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes (or timing as indicated in the brand you use). Discard the soup pouch. Season the soup with 3 tbsp of garlic chilli oil.
  2. Add shiitake mushroom, tofu and shiitake noodles. Cover with lid and bring to a short simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are cooked.
  3. Serve the hot pot while its freshly made and still hot. Add shungiku greens at the last step – they only need to be dipped in the boiling soup for a few seconds to cook. Garish the tofu pieces with chopped spring onions and crispy garlic.