How To Prepare Clay Pot Tofu

The perfect one-pot meal. Clay pot cooking is the original slow cooker of every cuisine. Enjoy the art of slow cooking with the unique flavors of the Chinese kitchen. Serve over rice for a flavorful, umami-filled meal.

What Is Clay pot Cooking?

Claypot cooking is a type of slow-cooking in a covered vessel. Sometimes the pots are unglazed and sometimes they are glazed. Different countries all over the world use this technique. The ability to hold in steam makes for tender food that has time to develop deep flavor. Think of dishes like Mexican Frijoles de la Olla or Birria, Moroccan Tagine, or French Cassoulet. All of these dishes are cooked in the claypot style.

How To Choose the Right Clay Pot

Clay pots come in all different shapes and sizes. Because of this, choosing the right one might be a bit of a daunting task. Here's a few quick pointers:

Glazed or Unglazed

There are pros and cons to each type of clay pot.

  • Unglazed. Unglazed clay pots must be soaked beforehand so that they absorb some of the water. Doing this helps to add moisture to the food while cooking and makes the pot able to sustain the direct heat. Each pot also has its own flavor, adding flavor to your dish. The con of the unglazed pot is that they take a little more specialized care to clean and store.
  • Glazed. Glazed pots are easy to clean and store, just as you would any other ceramic. They cook evenly and are simple to use. The con to the glazed pot is that it offers no "patina" of flavor. This is the flavor of your home and there is an essence of those flavors that builds in an unglazed pot, but not a glazed one.

THIS is the clay pot I use. It is lightly glazed and wonderfully consistent. It's also very easy to clean and can be used stovetop, oven, or fire.

How To Prepare Clay Pot Tofu

1. Choosing The Tofu

I love to use an extra firm tofu in this recipe. You want to pick a tofu that holds up to light stirring and slow cooking. Because this recipe is cooked with moisture, you do not have to worry about pressing or drying your tofu. When it comes to this recipe however, pick any type of tofu you prefer. I think this Guide To Tofu from Green Queen gives a good summary of the different tofus out there.

2. The Seasonings

This recipe uses a sub-recipe that I like to have on hand for occasions just like this. A Sichuan Chili Sauce is what gives this sauce its complexity, and I try to have that made ahead of time (about 30 minutes, but can be made up to 2 months ahead and just kept in the refrigerator). However, the combination of the chili sauce, the soy sauce, and the black vinegar can be used in many recipes beyond just this one. Consider this your "step 1" in easy Chinese cooking. As a matter of fact, you can use this same combination of ingredients to add to things like Bok Choy, Noodles, or Rice.

3. The Vegetables

Undeniably, the vegetables I use in this dish are some of the most common- and for a reason. For example, the carrots add a sweetness that contrasts with the saltiness of the fermented soybeans. The slight spice from the radish plays off of the creaminess of the tofu. The mushrooms highlight the umami of the dish. And finally, the potato adds a richness to complete the hearty meal. I encourage you to play with the vegetables you love.

Serve with this Easy, Perfect Rice recipe and your favorite sides


Clay Pot Tofu with Rice

How To Prepare Clay Pot Tofu

The perfect one-pot meal. This recipe will teach you how to prepare Clay Pot Tofu for a flavorful, umami-filled meal. Enjoy the art of Chinese slow cooking
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Course Recipes- Skillet
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people
Calories 344 kcal




  • 4 oz Shiitake Mushrooms (about 10)
  • ½ Small Daikon Radish peeled
  • 2 Baking Potatoes peeled
  • 2 Carrots peeled
  • 1 pack Firm Tofu 14-oz
  • 2 tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 3 Green Onions chopped



  • Combine the broth liquids by whisking in the Sichuan chili sauce, vegetable stock, rice wine, soy sauce, and black vinegar (if using) into the cornstarch. Set aside.
    broth mixture for clay pot tofu


  • Cut the mushrooms into halves or quarters, depending on the size, and all of the vegetables into large 2-inch pieces. Set aside
    cut vegetables for clay pot tofu
  • Cut the tofu into large cubes.
    cubed tofu for clay pot tofu


  • Place your clay pot over medium-low heat on the stove.
  • Add the sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. Stir. You will see the garlic and ginger start to sizzle.
    cooking ginger and garlic in sesame oil
  • Add the vegetables and stir to coat in the seasonings.
    adding the vegetables to the pot for clay pot tofu
  • Add the tofu and the broth and stir GENTLY to mix all ingredients.
    the clay pot tofu mixture before cooking
  • Top the pot with a lid and let simmer for 50 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally so that the ingredients don't stick to the bottom.
    top lid of the clay pot tofu
  • The dish is done when the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly with a glossy look.
    finished clay pot tofu on the stove
  • Serve over rice and garnish with chopped green onions
    clay pot tofu served over rice


Although some of the ingredients in this recipe may seem unfamiliar, they make up the main flavor characteristics of Cantonese and Sichuan cooking.  If you are looking to explore more Chinese recipes, these will quickly become staple ingredients in your pantry and last for a long time.


Serving: 2cupsCalories: 344kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 16gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 841mgPotassium: 1071mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 6008IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 95mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Best Vegan Recipes, clay pot recipes, clay pot tofu, tofu recipes
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