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Keto Korean Hot Pot

Keto Korean Hot Pot

My Korean Hot Pot is not a traditional, as I add lots of veggies and protein and it becomes a full meal. I added one duck leg confit for 4 servings for flavor, but if you want this meal to be vegetarian, just omit and use vegetable stock.

I like to bake the tofu for the chewy texture, but it is not necessary. The Shirataki noodles are always a good fake out.

I used red cabbage, not white, because it’s prettier!

This dish is very low in carbs and moderately high in fiber, with the cabbage/kimchi. It’s a tasty and light meal.

Korean Hot Pot

Serves 4

1 quart chicken bone stock or vegetable stock

Avocado oil or chicken fat

8-12 ounces kimchi, roughly chopped with juices

1 pound soft or firm tofu

1-2 packages shirataki noodles, drained and rinsed and chopped roughly

½ bunch scallion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

¼-1/2 cabbage, sliced thin

1 zucchini, spiralized

2 tablespoons sesame oil

3 tablespoons tamari

1 tablespoon Korean red pepper

Black pepper

1 duck leg confit, or small amount of any meat chopped into small pieces (optional)

If desired, bake firm tofu—cut into small pieces and add some sesame oil, tamari, black pepper and marinate. Bake 45 minutes at 350. Otherwise, simply cube soft or firm tofu.

Heat oil on medium low and add garlic, scallion and meat and cook until garlic is fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add stock, carrots and cabbage and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except sesame oil. Turn off heat and add sesame seed oil. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Spinach, Baked Tofu and Sesame Stir-Fry

Baked tofu with tamari, sesami oil and seeds

If you think you don’t like tofu, try this recipe—I swear it will make you a convert! If you do like tofu, you will love it baked! Now, not all tofu is the same and my favorite is The Bridge, made by a small company in Connecticut, because it’s nice and firm and tastes so fresh. Baking the tofu changes its texture from soft and spongy to firm and chewy. In this recipe, I add both sesame oil and tamari, but you can omit sesame oil and it will still be good.

There are not a lot of low carb non-meat or cheese choices, but tofu is one of them, with 4 ounces containing only 1 gram. I love beans, for example, but they really aren’t low carb, so I eat them sparingly.

I use one pound of organic frozen spinach from Trader Joe’s—good and cheap. You can use baby spinach, but it’s expensive and really not worth it—plus, with frozen, you can have it on hand and ready to make this easy dish anytime. You can substitute broccoli, cabbage, bok choy or other greens, too. Kimchi adds more flavor, but the dish is good with it or without.

I also like to cook Asian meals with good quality peanut oil and use Loriva which is delicious and very fragrant.

Good quality peanut oil

Peanut oil is nice because it has a high smoke point.

Spinach, Tofu and Sesame Stir-Fry

1 tablespoon peanut or extra virgin olive oil

1 pound extra firm tofu, cut in small bite sized pieces

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1” piece teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes or 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper

Soy or tamari sauce to taste

1-pound frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

3 teaspoons sesame oil, divided

½ bunch scallion, chopped

Black pepper

½ cup kimchi, chopped and use liquid (optional)


Rinse tofu and blot dry with a paper or kitchen towel. Put tofu on parchment paper on an oven tray and coat tofu with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and soy sauce. If you have the time, let tofu marinate 30 minutes, then bake at 350 for 45 minutes to one hour or until golden. Put tofu aside. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet, cast iron pan or wok, and add garlic, scallion, peppers and ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute, and add soy sauce to taste. Add the spinach and kimchi and stir-fry until the spinach is hot, about one minute. Add tofu. Stir in the sesame seeds, and add more soy sauce to taste. Remove from the heat and add 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.

Tofu cubed in sesami oil and tamari

Serve with spiralized, sautéed zucchini or sautéed riced cauliflower.

Low Carb Kimchi “Cauliflower Fried Rice”

Low Carb “Cauliflower Fried Rice”

A delicious low carb “fried rice” dish made with cauliflower instead of rice!

In China and Korea, fried rice dishes are usually served as a side dish or made with leftovers; mine is meant as a main entrée. I wanted to see if “cauliflower rice” could stand up as a main ingredient instead of rice and I think it did very well as a substitute  I used baby bok choy, but you can use regular bok choy, broccoli, cabbage or spinach.

Typically, small amounts of meat are used in fried rice dishes, but because vegetables are so low calorie, I added more meat to make a satisfying and filling meal. If you would rather go meatless, either add more egg or use tofu. Tofu can be baked or marinate it in a bit of the seasoned soy sauce. This is also the ideal dish for leftover meat. I happened to have picked up a smoked duck breast and it was just hanging out in my freezer, so I decided to use it up for this dish.

The seasoned soy sauce is delicious and may become a go-to favorite to add to lots of Asian dishes!

Kimchi “Cauliflower Fried Rice”

Serves 4

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or good quality peanut oil, like Lorivar

1 onion, chopped

8-12 ounces pork loin, smoked duck breast or duck leg confit, chicken, or extra firm tofu; chopped into small pieces

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 pounds riced cauliflower, allow to defrost and squeeze out extra water if using frozen

1-pound baby bok choy, ends removed and stems and leaves separated and chopped coarsely

2 cups kimchi and liquid, coarsely chopped

½ bunch scallion, chopped


Toasted sesame seeds

3 eggs, beaten

Heat oil on medium and cook onion until soft. Raise heat to medium high and cook meat until done. Add bok choy stems and cook until softened. Add butter and sesame oil and when melted, add cauliflower. Stir until hot. Add kimchi, scallions, bok choy leaves, and salt and stir until hot. In a separate pan, heat oil to coat pan and add egg when hot. Flip egg when almost set. Remove from pan and cut into strips. Add to dish. Sprinkle sesame seeds. Serve with seasoned soy sauce.

Seasoned Soy Sauce

¼ cup tamari or soy sauce

1 scallion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon Korean chili powder (this is a mild chili powder. If using something else, consider reducing amount)

1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients

Pickled Watermelon Radishes & Carrots

Pickled radish and carrot

Pickled Watermelon Radishes and Carrots

I was lucky enough to receive an amazing batch of homemade kimchi for Christmas and it inspired me to make pickled radishes and carrots with the watermelon and purple radishes I had from the farmer’s market. (Daikon is traditionally used, but I prefer the colorful radishes instead of the white daikon.) I usually use a food processor, but don’t have mine in NYC and decided to use a spiralizer. I’m digging the way the colorful curls turned out! The recipe I use calls for 2-3 tablespoons of salt and sugar, but I use less. Taste it and decide for yourself. The vegetables pickle in minutes with warm water; I leave mine out for about an hour, then chill in the refrigerator. They can be used right away.

On Monday, I plan on making Bulgogi and having a feast with the kimchi and pickles and other sides for a delicious meal.

Spiralized radishes and carrots

Pickled Watermelon Radishes and Carrots

1/2 lb. carrots, shredded in food processor or with a spiralizer

1/2 lb. daikon, watermelon, purple or other radishes, shredded in food processor or with a spiralizer.

3 cups warm water

3 tablespoons distilled or rice vinegar

1 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoons salt

Mix warm water, vinegar, sugar and salt until everything is dissolved. Choose a pitcher or bowl with a lip that can be used for pouring mixture.

Peel, wash and cut radishes and carrots to desired size. Put into a container and add liquid.

Low Carb Kimchi “Ramen” Soup

Kimchi “Ramen” Soup

The secret ingredient here is the tofu shirataki “noodles” which imitate real noodles with their texture, but a 4-ounce serving has only 10 calories and 3 carbs! It’s basically soybeans and yam flour. The texture is amazingly like noodles and the flavor is bland—but it’s what you have the noodles with that give it flavor and these are perfect in soup. This is a basic recipe, but totally stands on its own. Jazz it up with tofu, chicken, pork, broccoli, shredded carrots, spiralized zucchini and any other vegetable or protein you have on hand. Leftover chicken and pork? They are perfect for this soup.

Tofu Shirataka “Ramen”

Kimchi “Ramen” Soup

Serves 3

3 Eggs, beaten

2 packages tofu shirataki “noodles”, drain in colander and rinse and drain

1 pound baby bok choy, ends cut off, stems and leaves separated and chopped

6-12 ounces kimchi

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock plus water as needed

8 ounces shitake mushrooms, chopped

½ bunch scallion

1-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 tablespoons low sodium tamari

1-2 tablespoons sesame oil

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat a small pan on medium high, add oil to coat and pour eggs in. let set and flip. Remove from pan and cut into strips and set aside. In a pot, heat olive oil on medium and add ginger and garlic, cook 2 minutes, but don’t allow to brown. Raise heat to medium high and add shitake mushrooms; cook until water releases and they begin to brown. Add baby bok choy stems and cook a few minutes until wilted. Add baby bok choy leaves, stock, soy sauce, kimchi, egg strips and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add sesame oil. Taste and add more sesame oil and soy sauce as needed.

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Copyright © 2021 Norma Lehmeier Hartie