Sometimes only a spicy bowl of soup will do. When that’s the case, this quick and easy Kimchi Tofu Soup fits the bill.

We are pretty kimchi crazy in this house. When we get to the Asian grocery store, we buy a huge jar and I craft meals specifically to take advantage of the spicy, pickled cabbage. I’ve found that Asian food is quite easy when you have all the right pantry ingredients.

Inspired by a Korean restaurant dish we love, I decided to craft a spicy kimchi soup. I’m not making any claims that this is authentic in any way. I just used the Asian-inspired ingredients I had on hand to whip this up. My husband and I loved it so much we’ve been eating it almost weekly. It’s an ideal antidote to the cold, winter weather.

In the recipe, I suggest rice noodles or shirataki noodles. If you haven’t discovered shirataki noodles yet, they are a noodle made from a konjac yam and have zero carbs. If you are on a low carb diet, they are a fantastic solution for soups and Asian dishes. I don’t care for them with Italian sauces as I don’t find them a satisfying substitute for real pasta. But, as a rice noodle substitute, I love them! You can usually find them in the produce area of your grocery store. They are sold in a bag with liquid around the noodles. Be sure to drain and rinse them before use. Don’t be put off by the aroma when you first open the bag. After rinsing them, they will soak up the flavors of your recipe.

Hope you are staying warm this winter!

Quick and Easy Kimchi Tofu Soup
Makes 2 enormous bowls, or 4 regular bowls of soup

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kimchi “juice”
1 cup cabbage kimchi, chopped
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons Korean gochujang (red chili paste found in asian section of many grocery stores)
2 cups firm tofu cut in 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups thin rice noodles or 1 package shirataki noodles
Chopped scallion for garnish (optional)

Heat the oils in a soup pot. Saute the mushrooms in the hot oil for a few minutes. Drain the juice from the jar of kimchi and set aside. Chop the kimchi cabbage into bite size pieces. Add the kimchi and juice to the pan. Add the stock and gochujung and heat until just slightly bubbling but not boiling. Cook rice noodles to package directions and rinse. This removes extra starch. If using shiratki noodles, drain and rinse them. Add the noodles and tofu to the soup and heat for another few minutes. Add more gochujang if you want a spicier soup. Serve piping hot!