Discover the flavorful world of Asian tofu recipes with this list of crispy stir-fries, savory stews, plant-based dishes etc that will tantalize your taste buds and learn how to make the best use of this versatile ingredient!
What is Tofu?
Tofu, or beancurd, is particularly good in vegan and vegetarian recipes, as it absorbs flavors terrifically. In fact, there are so many vegan tofu recipes that I had to consciously cut down on the number in my Asian Vegan Recipes for Veganuary round-up!
It can be used in everything from stir-fries to desserts and is an important ingredient in Chinese food, Japanese cooking and Korean cuisine. You can cook it with hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce or braise it with Napa cabbage in oyster sauce chicken stock and it'll taste great!
It's such a common ingredient, you no longer need to head down to the Asian markets for it (unless you're looking for a special type, such as Tau Kwa or Stuffed Tofu.)
However, not every type of tofu works in a recipe. Scroll down to find out more about the various forms of tofu, followed by Asian recipes for each type.
Fun fact: you can makes your own using a tofu press!
Some popular varieties of tofu include:
- Extra Firm
- Soft or Silken
- Tau Kwa
- Egg (usually quite soft)
Tip: if you're new to cooking tofu dishes, start with extra-firm tofu as it's easier to work with. Soft tofus can be a nightmare to stir-fry... for the best selection of various tofu, go to Asian grocery stores!
🥚 Egg Tofu
Salted Egg Yolk Sauce
This umamilicious and creamy dish is my favorite way to eat tofu, coated with rice flour or corn flour then fried, and so good even with just a plain bowl of jasmine rice!
Tip: don't forget the paper towels to drain the oil off the golden brown, deep fried tofu, before sautéing them in the salted egg yolk sauce and curry leaves! (The sauce is scrumptious with many ingredients, from popcorn and cornflakes to pork!)
P.S. Homemade salted eggs are so much better than shop bought!
The minced meat in this spicy tofu recipe contrasts delightfully with the softness of the beancurd. Serve with white rice, fried rice or fried noodles!
Soy sauce, garlic and dried shrimp make this Asian garlic tofu recipe anything but bland!
Soft Tofu Stew
This warming Korean stew is the perfect comfort food that can be made in under 30 minutes. A bowl of rice is a must-have with this dish but, if you're on a diet, substitute with cauliflower rice or brown rice and pile on the Korean side dishes!
Some people add black pepper, but I find the taste overpowering in this Tofu Soup, and do not recommend it.
Tip: the green onions give freshness to the spicy recipe, so don't skip them! Also, go easy on the red pepper flakes as different batches have different levels of heat- you can always add more later but it's hard to take them out!
Unlike Soondubu Jjigae (Korean tofu stew, shown above), which only uses silken tofu, you can use extra firm tofu in this Kimchi Soup if you wish. Goes well with a glass of roasted barley tea on the side.
Tip: aged kimchi has much more flavor!
🥢 Firm/ Extra Firm
Kung Pao Tofu
This is a meat-free version of the original deliciously umamilicious Kung Pao Tofu recipe! The Sichuan peppercorns in the recipe help to awaken your tastebuds!
The sauce ingredients are similar to Toyomansi- if you can't get Calamansi, click here for the best substitutes.
Tip: the sauce ingredients can be prepared in advanced and kept for 2-3 days before cooking.
Maple Tofu Cubes
Tip: sugars can burn quickly so cook the stir fry sauce on medium heat to medium-high heat at the max!
Air Fried Tofu
Instead of deep frying the tofu for the salted egg tofu recipe, why not take air fry them instead? Click through to learn the secrets of crispy non-deep fried tofu!
It'll be healthier and better than anything you get at Chinese restaurants!
Tofu is a huge part of Chinese cuisine, so how can I miss out a tofu stir-fry?
Tip: add some shiitake mushrooms, broccoli florets and/ or snow peas to make it more nutritious!
Click here for side dishes that go well with teriyaki!
Tip: if you can't get potato starch, you can substitute with corn starch for the coating.
This finger food makes a great Super Bowl snack. You can also use tofu slices, to make tofu burgers!
Tip: try them with Samosa Sauce!
For other healthy-ish Indian tofu recipes, click here or here for Indian sides that would go well with Masala!
To learn more about Cantonese food, such as seafood congee and Hong Kong coffee milk tea, click here.
The rice vinegar sauce is delicious! If you don't have Sriracha, you can try substituting with Gochujang or Sambal Oelek. (Not the same things but they're both also full-flavoured Asian condiments!)
Panda Express Copycat
Note: if you have no clue what to serve with orange chicken click here for some suggested sides!
Korean Side Dish
Rice can be super filling, so why not wash it down with some Chinese Plum Tea for digestion?
Tip: leftover rice is best for fried rice!
I know this is supposed to be an Asian tofu recipes round-up but these dishes looked so appetising, I couldn't resist including them!
Click here for GF appetisers and dips.
Mac & Cheese
Tip: Tofu desserts almost always use soft or silken tofu. You can also use it in cheesecake! (Matcha and black sesame are good flavors for tofu cake, as tofu on its own can be bland.)
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