7 Authentic Chinese Dishes Made With Tofu
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Tofu, popularly known as bean curd in English, is a food item that is prepared by coagulating soy milk. The origin of this ingredient is said to be China, and it is now prevalently enjoyed in most Asian and Southeast Asian countries. Due to its high protein value, vegans find this a great option to include in their diet as a source of stable protein.

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Moreover, tofu's nutritional benefits further enhance its appeal as a dietary staple. Rich in protein, iron, and calcium, tofu offers a healthy alternative to meat while still providing essential nutrients necessary for overall well-being. Its cholesterol-free and low-calorie nature also makes it a popular choice among those looking to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet.

Stinky Tofu

Stinky tofu, a pungent delicacy in Chinese cuisine, boasts a unique aroma and bold flavour profile. Typically marinated in a brine of fermented milk, vegetables, and meat for weeks, its preparation is an artful balance of patience and precision. Once fried or steamed, the tofu transforms into a crispy exterior, yielding to a creamy interior. Its complex taste combines earthy, savoury, and slightly sour notes, offering a sensory adventure for the adventurous palate. 

Kung Pao Tofu

Kung pao is another popular Chinese dish. It conventionally features chicken, but it also has a vegetarian version, which involves tofu. This dish is basically a stir-fry of marinated tofu with peanuts, bell peppers, and scallions with a blend of sauces. The sauces that go into the dish are quite Asian in origin, like soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chilli sauce, etc.  The dish goes well with a bowl of rice to balance out the fiery kick from the chilli peppers and sauces. 

Tofu Pudding

Tofu pudding, known as douhua, is a delicate and authentic Chinese treat crafted from tofu, a versatile soybean product. Its simplicity belies its rich flavour profile and silky texture. Traditionally served with a drizzle of sweet ginger syrup or a sprinkle of peanuts, it tantalises taste buds with a harmonious blend of sweet and savoury. Infused with the essence of soybeans, it offers a creamy consistency that melts in the mouth.

Braised Tofu

Braised tofu is another profound Chinese dish that is people's favourite for its rich flavours and texture. To make this dish, the silken tofu is first stir-fried and then simmered into a savoury sauce made with soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, aromatic broth, hoisin sauce, etc. What gives dimension to the dish is the addition of ginger, garlic and snap peas, along with seasonal vegetables available in local markets. This dish shines out when served on top of a bowl of rice during lunch or dinner. 

General Tso's Tofu

General Tso's tofu, a contemporary spin on a classic, embodies the essence of Chinese cuisine. Cubes of tofu are lightly fried to a crisp, then tossed in a savoury-sweet sauce bursting with ginger, garlic, soy, and chilli. The dish harmonises textures, with the tofu's soft interior contrasting the crispy exterior. Each bite is a symphony of flavours, from the umami richness of soy to the subtle heat of chilli, all accented by the aromatic depth of ginger and garlic.

Sweet And Sour Tofu

Sweet and sour tofu, a staple in Chinese cuisine, combines the delicate texture of tofu with a symphony of flavours. Cubes of tofu are lightly fried until golden brown, then tossed in a tantalising sauce made from vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and ketchup, creating a harmonious blend of tangy and sweet notes. The dish bursts with vibrant colours from bell peppers, pineapple chunks, and onions, adding a delightful crunch and sweetness. Garnished with sesame seeds and green onions for a nutty and refreshing taste.

Orange Tofu

Orange tofu is an authentic Chinese dish that features crisp cubes of tofu, which is tossed in a sweet and citrusy orange sauce curated from orange juice, soy sauce, garlic and ginger for a touch of sweetness, adding sugar or honey. The good thing about tofu is that it is like a blank canvas, and the flavours that you put it in absorb the flavour and give the dish a new dimension with texture and flavour.