I am a scientist who loves to cook because there are many similarities between working in a lab and cooking in a kitchen. I love to share my cooking experience with you and to inspire others to cook.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Seaweed Tofu Soup

Here is a soup that has been brewing in my mind before the real brew begins but I have never gotten around making it since I have a list of other soups to make. Then one day, as my pantry was being cleaned (thanks SL), I saw all these dried seaweed and I thought to myself that I must make use of it.

I also bought a pressure cooker recently. I have always wanted to cook with a pressure cooker since I was 7 years old. It was always one of those things that they sell on "As Seen on TV" (same is true with knives "Look, this knife slices through tomatoes perfectly and thinly!!" or this "I can ran this knife over and over again against this rock and the knife is still sharp", proceeds to slice bread).

I digress. Back to pressure cooker.

I always wanted to give this a try because I can reduce cooking time from 3 hours to 30 minutes. Who does not want to save time on cooking? So I bought one to try it out and the first thing I cooked with the pressure cooker is, you guessed it

Seaweed Tofu soup!

Ingredients (make 6 servings)

3 large pieces of dried seaweed. Break into small pieces and wash many times.
1 pack of tofu. Either soft tofu or firm tofu. Cut into small pieces
1/2lb of pork ribs
2 pieces of dried scallops (optional)
1 thumb size ginger (optional)

                           Scallop surfing on a piece of dirty seaweed that needs some major scrubbing

Instructions (same instructions if you do not have a pressure cooker)

1. Boil a medium pot of water and cook the pork ribs until the scum floats to the top of the pot
2. Pour the water away, save the bones, and add 6-8 cups of water back to the pot with pork.
3. Bring the water to boil again.
4. Add the dried scallops, ginger, cleaned dried seaweed, and tofu
5. Cook in medium heat for 1.5 hours. (if you use a pressure cooker, just follow the manufacturer's instructions)
6. Once the soup is done cooking, season with salt.

                                                            A harmony of flavors

My previous soup, which is the leek and potato soup took 30 minutes to prep; this soup took a little under 5 minutes to prep. The leek and potato soup was loaded with butter and cream, this soup is as pure and clean tasting as it gets.

I tasted the soup before I added salt and it was "alright", but once I added some salt, I literally said "OMG, this is freaking good" (repeated 2-3 times). I love the taste of sea from the seaweed and scallops. It almost felt like I am seating by the ocean and drinking fresh coconut juice from a coconut that just fell off the tree (sorry, bad analogy but you get the point). I undercooked the seaweed because I didn't time my pressure cooking time correctly. So make sure you taste the seaweed to ensure that it is soft. It might also be a good idea to break the seaweed to smaller pieces. Unlike me, I got lazy in breaking seaweed. 


  1. Your seaweed looks very similar to the kelp used in Korean cooking. It's used to create a soup base, commonly accompanied with dried anchovies. They usually remove the kelp before consumption (like the anchovies). DO you think it's the same kind?

  2. Kelp and seaweed are similar type of plant but they are different species. I haven't cooked with kelp, not sure how it taste like. Is it like seaweed?