Spicy Tofu Soup with Bok Choy from SECRETS OF GREAT SECOND MEALS

Spicy Tofu Soup with Bok Choy.jpg

Finding meals for the cold winter months that warm you up but don’t weigh you down can sometimes feel like searching for the holy grail. But in this recipe from Secrets of Great Second Meals, James Beard Award-winner Sara Dickerman, turns leftover ingredients you may already have in your fridge into a soup that is equal parts hearty and healthy.

In Secrets of Great Second Meals, Sara shows us that re-imagining leftover food for a second meal not just a good, cheap, un-wasteful thing to do, but way of making everyday eating more inventive and enticing. Learn to love your leftovers and try this Spicy Tofu Soup tonight!


This is the kind of soup I make for myself for a quick desk-side lunch during a busy day. It’s a charismatic broth poured over some extra tofu and veggies for a very pure-feeling but savory meal. If you want to treat yourself a bit like a guest at a fancy restaurant, place the chunky bits in the bowl in an artful way and then pour the broth over them with a flourish. Even if you’re dining alone, you deserve a little flair.

Extra ingredients: roasted tofu, cooked bok choy or other greens

Time: 10 minutes (10 minutes active)

Makes 1 serving (about 2 cups)


  • 11/2 cups water or dashi
  • 1 tablespoon white miso or chickpea miso
  • 1 teaspoon gochujang paste (available at Korean and Asian groceries; I very much favor Wholly Gochujang, which is also available at Amazon.com)
  • 3/4 cup roasted tofu
  • 1/2 cup cooked baby bok choy or other greens
  • 2 or 3 shiitake mushrooms, sliced thin if raw or in bigger chunks if already cooked
  • Toasted sesame seeds, to garnish


1. Bring the water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the miso and the gochujang, then add the tofu, bok choy, and mushrooms and let them warm through. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to pull them out of the broth and arrange them in a serving bowl.

2. Pour the broth over the tofu and vegetables and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.


Change the vegetables. Almost any vegetable tastes good in this context, but especially roasted mushrooms or asparagus; diced cooked squash; potatoes or sweet potatoes; English or snap peas; and/or cooked greens such as pea vines, spinach, or chard.

Add some seafood. Try floating some grilled shrimp, steamed clams, or crab meat in the spicy broth along with the tofu.


Learn more about Secrets of Great Second Meals here: https://bit.ly/2G7kGDM

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