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Salted egg yolk tofu with a box of tea.

Salted Egg Tofu (Fried tofu & salted egg yolk sauce)

This salted egg tofu is an easy but delicious recipe- the fried tofu is crispy and smothered with a creamy and buttery salted egg yolk sauce that has hints of the citrusy curry leaf and the spice of the chilli. Yum!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese, singaporean, Southeast Asian
Servings 2 people

Equipment

  • Pot
  • Knife and chopping board
  • Bowl and fork Sieve optional (for if you can't get the egg yolk mashed well with just a fork)
  • Pan

Ingredients
  

For the fried tofu

  • 2 Packets (they usually come in rolls) Egg tofu (about 300g or 10.6 0z) Slice into rounds about 1.5cm wide.
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Corn starch or potato flour
  • ¼-½ teaspoon Salt, optional I prefer to omit this as the sauce is salty already but if you're worried you won't get enough sauce on all the tofu pieces. Salting the batter helps to ensure the fried tofu isn't too tasteless on its own
  • Oil Enough to fry

For the salted egg sauce

  • 4 salted duck egg yolks, steamed or hard boiled then mashed well with a fork Substitute: salted chicken eggs (Use 4 as these are smaller) Keep the egg whites and eat them with your congee
  • 4 Tablespoon Unsalted butter (about 50g, but you don't have to be obsessive about the weight- just eyeballing it is fine) Don't use salted butter unless you know for sure how salty your ducks eggs are. Some are super salty, then it'll be overload!
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves Remove the leaves from the sprig but toss everything into the pan, then remove the stalk just before serving
  • 1-2 red chilli padi (bird's eye chilli) Substitute: ½ big chilli- I used this in the photo as smaller chilli padi is pretty spicy and not everyone I was serving could take the heat. The spice does help to cut through the fat though!
  • Handful cornflakes, unflavoured, optional If you use sweet cornflakes, maybe skip the sugar later on.
  • ½-¾ teaspoon white granulated sugar, or to taste The amount of sugar will change depending on the salt levels of your eggs, so don't take my quantity as prescriptive. Taste then season!
  • fish sauce (or salt), Optional Taste your sauce before adding! I used 2 teaspoons of fish sauce (substitute: salt) but this will vary depending on the salt levels of your eggs. If you made your own, the longer you brined them, the saltier they'll be. If you really want to pile on the flavour, use chicken stock powder instead.

Instructions
 

Frying the tofu

  • After slicing the tofu, press it with a kitchen tower (gently) to make sure it's not wet as that could prevent you from getting it cripsy.
  • Dip each piece in the flour and lay them out side by side on a plate, to prepare for frying. Prepared another plate, with a kitchen towel on it, ready to place the fried tofu on.
  • Fill your pot with enough oil to fry the tofu. Turn on the fire and once the oil is hot enough, put 2-3 tofu pieces gently into the fire. (You can test the heat by putting a wooden chopstick in- if you see small bubbles, the fire is hot enough. If not, use a cooking thermometer- it should be 160C/ 320F.) Don't put too many tofu in an once or the oil temperature will decrease rapidly and you won't be able to get them nice and golden crisp.
  • Turn the tofu to fry the other side. If your chopstick skills aren't good, use a spatula or a metal sieve- you don't want to risk dropping the tofu into the hot oil or having the oil burn you!!
  • Once golden brown on both sides, place it on the kitchen towel to absorb any extra oil.
  • Repeat till you've finished frying all the pieces then move on to make the salad egg yolk sauce.

Cooking the salted ducks egg sauce (or salted chicken egg if that's what you've got)

  • On medium-high, melt the butter and once hot (make sure it doesn't burn), add the garlic, curry leaves and chilli.
  • Stir-fry rapidly till fragrant (your kitchen will smell So Good) then add the mashed up egg yolks.
  • Keep stirring and you'll see the sauce starting to bubble.
  • If adding cereal, toss them in now and give everything a good mix.
  • Taste then season with fish sauce/ sugar as appropriate.
  • Switch off the heat and pour the sauce over the fried tofu.
  • Serve with white rice.

Notes

Salted eggs vary widely in salinity- it depends on the size of the yolks, the type of eggs used, the time they were brined etc. If you buy the ones packed in the black salted charcoal and leave them like that for ages, they'll slowly get saltier, for example. So the seasoning of the salted egg sauce very much varies from kitchen to kitchen. Use my quantities as a guide but taste before you add anything.
Option to skip the deep frying and cook the tofu in an air fryer before mixing in the sauce!
I like to mix red and green chillies to give the salted egg tofu more vibrancy in the plating.
As the sauce is so full of flavour, it's best to eat this dish with white rice and to have tea after the meal.
Once you learn to make this sauce, you can use it to cook anything, from salted egg pasta to salted egg chicken! 
 
Waste not, want not: there'll be lots of yummy sauce leftover in the pan, so I like to stir any leftover white rice I have in it to absorb the flavour. For more ways to use leftovers in an Asian kitchen, click here.
Keyword edible garden, salted egg