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Friday, February 24, 2012

Crispy Mashed Tofu 脆口豆腐 - Tofu # 3

I first ate this tofu about 20 years back. It was popular back then.
Nowadays, I don’t see many restaurants serving this anymore.

There was a short period of time when few young men started a “Tai Chau 大炒’ eatery few doors away from my mom's shop. One of the guys was the son of our long term customer, Ah Sor 阿傻 (nickname meaning Silly Man, or Mad Guy), who has become a family friend. One day my mom just casually asked him how to make this crispy tofu, he apologized that he can’t teach her, but he can make her some.

The next day, he passed a huge pan of it to her, and only asked for RM20. With that pan of tofu, he could easily fry them and make more than quadruple. But being in very good terms with my mom, he only charged her buddy price. We consumed this huge pan of tofu in a few days. Thanks, Son of Ah Sor 阿傻仔

Crispy Mashed Tofu
Recipe modified from: Famous Delights by One Publisher (Vol 5)

3 pieces Japanese egg tofu
125gm Mackerel fish paste (鲛鱼肉泥)
1 large egg
2 Tbsp carrot shreds
2 Tbsp finely sliced spring onions and parsley (can use coriander if preferred)
2 waterchestnuts, finely diced
1 slice sandwich ham (30gm), finely diced
1 Tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup Potato starch

1. Mix everything together with a mixer (or by hand, but I was lazeeeeeee)
2. Line a 7 inch square pan with heat safe plastic wrap.
3. Pour mixture into lined pan.
4. Steam on medium heat for 10 minutes (mine was done in 8 mins, you have to check it yourself. Once the surface is set, then it is done. Over steaming will cause roughness)
5. Let the steamed tofu cool down in the pan.
6. When tofu has totally cooled, lift tofu up from pan and remove from plastic wrap.
7. Cut into cubes or diagonal pieces, whichever way you like.
8. Heat a wok with sufficient oil for frying.
9. Coat tofu pieces with potato starch and deep fry until golden.
10. Drain tofu pieces well and serve with chilli sauce.

*If you do not want to use plastic wrap to line your pan, you can try greasing the pan, but removal will be not be as easy.

updated 7/3/12
Note: Steam the mixture immediately to prevent the veg to release moisture upon contact with the salt. Do not oversteam as over steamed tofu will release water, so does oversteamed custard (eggs).  Just steam until it is just set, you will have to check it.  Medium heat, remember, not high heat.


  1. Oh yum!!! After seeing your pictures and reading the recipe now I also want this dy but you're right, they don't really serve this in restaurants anymore. What a feast for the eyes in the morning! :)

  2. Looks good. Have eaten something like this long,long ago in some 'Ta chau' place in Cheras.

  3. Seems a bit more work, but looks mighty delicious! Did u make the fish paste yourself? so egg tofu instead of plain? Why huh? Because your recipe already added 1 egg.

  4. This looks so good! *Add to loooooong list of recipes to try*. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Wendy. I can't wait to try it!

  5. Sharon,
    Weird right, dishes can go extinct, LOL

    Ipoh don't have? Hmmm...

    Oh yes, homemade fish paste. My town don't have ready made ones. The egg is a binder and the egg tofu is for flavour. Son of Ah Sor did tell my mom it's made using jap tofu and the cookbook I had confirmed it.

    Dumpling love,
    I hope you love this :)

  6. I normally don't fry toufu, only steam it. Look nice and yummy. Will give it a try. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Think I've had something similar. 招牌豆腐 at some restaurants?

  8. I remember my mom making this a long long time ago and they were good. I have all the ingredients in my fridge so I might try this out tomorrow. Can I omit the ham?

  9. This dish goes well with Thai chilli sauce....yum...

  10. Cass,
    I hope u like this

    Oh yes, very

    sure can. No ham shouldn't be much of a problem, maybe then add some stock powder?

    yayaya... like that very yummy

  11. pigpigscorner,
    Oh yes, some restaurants use this for their signature tofu. But nowadays, I rarely come across this as "signature". Mostly claypot with lots of mixed stuff of which is sooooooooooooo boring

  12. this looks delicious. will make it very soon.

  13. hey masterchef, i want to ask you if i use cornflour/tapioca flour to deep fry instead of potato flour, any difference in terms of crispiness? i hv not used potato flour before.

  14. delia,
    I hope you like this

    Yeah, it is

    aiya, don't call me like that la.
    Tapioca then, cornstarch not crispy leh.

  15. i had ate b4 at my hometown restaurant, so call their "signature tofu" .eat with Thai chilli sauce more yummy. My mum had tried to cook b4 this dishes but always...too wet or too soft and cannot cut to pieces to fry. Does ur tofu come out a lot of water after steaming? Ur's tofu looks so solid after steaming!!! how u make it?? Must show my mum this recipes ask her to try ur recipes! ^^ JasMine Chuah

  16. This is delicious...never see this in restaurant anymore :( Thank you so much for sharing the recipe...'tou si' from you now :)

  17. Many steps but this tofu is really ichiban! *Thumbs Up*

    Wendy wish u have a nice weekend ahead.

  18. Haven't had this in a long time. Feeling like eating it now...

  19. JasMine,
    What you see is what I got. No water. Solid piece. How I make it? Read the recipe please.

    Last time got right? Now tarak leh

    not many steps la, actually very easy, mix steam cut and fry. then can make big batch and cook for few days, hahaha

  20. Poh Lin,
    Hahaha... long time, isn't it?

  21. My gawd!! This masterpiece is looking sooo, soooo evilish handsome with great taste!!!

    Err... remember that I dislike tofu??? I think this dish changes my mind :p I'm going to find time to try it out XD

  22. zi char stalls usually serve this as their signature tofu. I'm too lazy to prepare fried tofu at home, so eat outside :)

  23. But if one day, I'm crazy enough to give myself more work and cleaning up to do, I will check your blog for this recipe. Looks so delicious!

  24. I love this dish, my kid too! Thanks for sharing how to make the tofu!

  25. Hi wendy,
    Looks great! Can I just use japanese tofu that doesn't contain egg? The ones I've seen in the grocery shop is just normal japanese tofu.

  26. Oh, I know this dish. Commonly called Golden Tofu or Signature Tofu at the Zhicha store here... I have even made it a couple of times... but so long ago..hmm.. maybe it is time to revisit it again!

  27. Oh, and I need to commend you on your knife skill... all your ingredients chopped so finely and neat! Envy!

  28. ooh .. i love tofu so dearly :D - this is good idea to making bento lunch for my daughter Thank You, Wendy

  29. yvonne,
    haha, oh yes, this one is not bland

    Actually not much work.. or, not that messy la. I just use a small saucepan to fry :)

    you may, but the flavour will be less... hmm.. good

    Funny.. they pronounce 煮 as zhi there. Signature tofu can be any tofu, or maybe this is their most special.
    Maybe make this the next time you entertain :)
    Perfect make ahead dish, and just fry it before serving.

    Mom's the little one,
    I hope your daughter loves this, and perfect for cutting into cute shapes :)

  30. Isn't it funny how trend in restaurants go. I remember many different apetizers that I used to get in restaurants and don't see them anymore. It is nice to bring such good things back. I have never had this fried crispy tofu before. it almost reminds me of tofu croquettes. They look so good I have to make them! It was nice that you got a big platter of them made for you!

  31. this looks so good! can i use store bought fish paste, like the one by wei-chuan, not sure if you are familiar with that brand. thanks so much for sharing!

  32. oh that sounds soooo good wendy! I love that mix of crispy and soft textures!

  33. Lyndsey,
    Oh yes, the guy was very nice to make us a 9X16 tray of it. LOL.

    May Y,
    Oh yes, definitely not familiar with it. It's not available here. Shouldn't be a problem with store bought.

    Shu Han,
    Good for potlucks, try this for your angmoh friends ;)

  34. what's the net weight of each tofu you used?

  35. This signature tofu still serving in restaurant here. I have been too long did not cook this. Learnt from my friend and she also add white tofu. By the way, wanted to check with you How long for you to take to pass window pane test when you use your heavy duty KA mixer to knead bread dough? My KA forever can not pass this test. Happy Weekend.

  36. Anonymous,
    It's 390gm. Each tube was 130gm.

    Some places use this as signature tofu as signature tofu can be just any tofu, just their most special tofu.
    Depends.. some dough is 20mins speed 4, some only 15 mins speed 4. But the same recipe will give me about the same time. Some recipes only need 10 mins speed 4(oat bread). Knead until it's glossy. Nowadays I record my time in my recipes so that i can remember.
    Ahh.. one day I will do a post for Random Sunday about kneading bread, just sharing what I find out, no where near a master yet, hahaha.

  37. Wendy,
    Do you use cling wrap to line the pan? What about using baking paper to line the pan?

  38. lyn,
    Yes. Buy a good one. I've seen chefs wrapping food in them and directly boil the food with the cling wrap on.
    Baking paper.. hmm... frankly, that is water absorbent, so I don't know how can you remove it with ease. But you can try greasing the paper first, let me know if it works.

  39. I love to eat this and yours looks perfectly delicious!

  40. hello wendy =)i've tried out this recipe and since i cant get water chestnut, my mom suggested me to use 'sengkuang'instead, will it influence the final result? and ur mixture looks so firm after steamed but mine was quite soft, and there's water condensed under the tofu after steamed.or maybe because of the sengkuang 0.o?? my tofu texture was very soft inside even though i've fried it, is it suppose to be like that? hope u'll be able solve my problem here T.T...tq very much!=D

  41. To Food With Love,
    thanks :)

    it's soft but firm, not fragile. I hope you didn't wait too long before you steamed it. The vege could leak moisture if left for too long uncooked in the mixture. The fried ones, outside is crispy, inside is soft. If your fish paste is not of mackeral in origin, it could be softer. Mackeral fish paste is firmer than other fish's. Sengkuang has more moisture than waterchestnut and has the tendency to release the moisture it has. Adding more cornstarch and egg could solve this problem.

    Open Kitchen Concept

  42. dont expect u'll reply me this soon! I used mackerel paste but mine was not as white as urs, and it's quite watery compares to urs. wow, how do u know that?!i do weight all the ingredients all in one bowl and left them outside for quite some time =P...thanks for the solution...really appreciate it!!

  43. Regine,
    I learnt a lot through the hard way.
    When I first started cooking in my early teens, I planned to make egg fooyung for dinner. I mixed the egg and ingredients way before cooking time, and by the time I wanted to cook it, I could't get an omelette and it became a pile of soggy egg mush. So, I guessed that's why yours has too much moisture.

  44. Hi Wendy...

    saya masuk kesini dari rumah lena (frozen wings), seperti lena, blog anda sungguh menarik dan penuh dengan makanan2 yg sedap2 belaka. Bolehkah saya salin resepi anda untuk saya cuba?

    saya seorang peminat tauhu...apakah bahan lain yang boleh menggantikan ham as I am a Muslim?..
    saya dahulukan dengan jutaan terimakasih Wendy...

  45. Queenie,
    Boleh, halal untul kegunaan peribadi ataupun diberi credit sumber dalam blog.
    Boleh pakai ham ayam. Adakan? Kalau taknak, letak skit serbuk ayam supaya tauhu ni ada rasa "daging" skit.

  46. Hello Wendy, do you have any suggestions as to what I can use to substitute the mackerel fish paste? I really dislike fish (especially fishy taste). Thank you so much for any suggestions that you might have in mind.

  47. Carr,
    Chicken paste? Not mince, but paste.
    Makerel fish paste is one of the best, it should not be fishy, that is if it's a good one.

  48. When I saw the photo, I thought it was for daikon radish cake...yum! Do you make that as well? My brother's friend has a restaurant that makes it really well but they don't give out the recipe. :(

  49. Wendy, son of Ah Sor is not so Sor afterall! hehe.. he must have made a delicious pan of tofu for your mum otherwise it will not be finished. Don't forget your mum too is a very good cook herself. Yes, you are right, nowadays, don't find this in the Menu of the restaurants so much. I have ordered this for my Quay Lo to taste and he loved it. I should try making this for him one evening when we eat Chinese:D Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  50. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe. It looks yummy... By the way, do you think I can substitute the fish paste with minced meat instead?

  51. Kasut But Ceri Merah,

    I haven't tried making that yet to blog, the last time I ade it 1997, but I don't like to pan fry my daikon cake.

    Try it and I hope that he loves it

  52. IRENE,
    Chicken PASTE will be a good substitute. Not mince, but PASTE. Blend it the same way like the fish.

  53. Hi Wendy,
    Thanks for your speedy response. I will try your recipe BUT with chicken paste instead of fish paste & get back to you soon for the feedback.

  54. Hi Wendy,
    May I Coat tofu pieces with corn flour? Please advice... Tks


  55. anonymous,
    Yes, but it won't be as crispy.
    If you don't have potato starch, what about tapioca starch?

  56. Thanks Wendy for yet another delicious recipe.

  57. Hi Wendy,

    Is glad wrap alright for steaming?


  58. nana0709,
    I used Glad too.
    I just don't trust those cheapo Made in China ones :p

  59. I loves this dish very much as I used to order this whenever we eat out at the "Tai Chau". And they still have this dish in JB.

  60. Dear Wendy,

    I tried your recipe last Sat but it did not turn out like what you have made, the tofu was too soft and have to coat with alot more potato starch to fried it for because I added one extra tube of Tofu and 200g of ready made fish meat I bought from market. Will try again soon and will follow your recipe strictly except to get ready made fish paste!

    Will share with you my results!

    Thanks for sharing your recipe!


  61. DavidKoh,
    Since you added both tofu and fish paste it shouldn't have been a problem. The fish paste acts as a binder. FYI, mackerel fish paste has the best binding properties.
    I suspect you didn't steam it immediately?

  62. Dear Wendy,

    Ophs... I forgot that I added 2 extra egg yolks plus one whole egg because the egg yolks were left unattended after I used the egg white for marinating chicken wings! Maybe that the problem why the tofu was too soft! BUT my family still enjoyed the tofu! Will be better next attempt! Thanks for your advice!

    Cheers and Best Regards,

  63. Wendy, I made this the other day following all the ingredients (well, except I don't have ham) but after finished steaming for 10 minutes, I feel the texture is still wet. And by looking at yours, it is so nicely firm and easily cut in diagonal pieces. I was a little disappointed my overall the steaming process. Is it under steam?

  64. Mel,
    did you steam it immediately?
    Over steaming it can cause the tofu to release water, and tofu too. Have u tried overcooked egg custard? It's watery too right? Just steam until it is just cooked. As said in the recipe, mine was done in 8 minutes, although the recipe says 8.

  65. Wendy,
    My helper tried this yesterday and it was really well received! We modified it a little, but generally, the ingredients and the steps were the same. It turned out very well, and my hubby said to make more next time! LOL. Thanks for sharing this. It's really yummy!

  66. Hi Wendy

    Is it possible to keep the cut steamed tofu in freezer and use them when needed?


  67. Hi Wendy,
    I made this again yesterday, after frying it, I don't seem to get the crispy part. Would you think I coated the Potato flour too much on it? I was a little disappointed. The first time, yes, I didn't steam it immediately. I prepared everything up and put inside the fridge and when Im ready only take it out to steam.

  68. Mel,
    It won't stay crispy for long, only while it's hot. The tofu is moist inside, so there's no way, it will be crispy for long that is until the moisture seeps out. Eat it ASAP.
    I hope ur carrot, spring onions and everything is not wet.
    This recipe is almost as per the recipe in the book, except that I rounded up some ingredients, the vegetables.
    Is the tofu after steaming whole piece solid or is there any water?
    Are u using a pot or work to steam? Is there any moisture dripping back onto the tofu?

  69. Hi Wendy,
    I followed you using the mixer to mix everything till combined. When I finished steaming for 10 minutes, I found there are water on the surface and I used a wok to steam. Do you wrap the whole pan with plastic wrap? Some people steam egg, they cover the top/surface to prevent water going it. I still intend to make this again because I just loves this fry tofu. Can I use tapioca flour to coat?

  70. Mel,
    Mine is as dry as what you saw. No water droplets at all. Did you turn off the heat and left the lid on? I didn't wrap or did anything to it, just put on the wok to steam. I suggest you check it at 8 mins, so that you will not oversteam. Oversteaming will cause it water to seep out too.
    Tapioca starch is fine, no prob..

  71. Wendy,
    I did check it out after the 7 minutes, and thought it still a little soft on the surface so I continue steam for 3 minutes more and took it out immediately. Wish I can achieve the texture and firmness like what you did. I try again. The 2nd time I use is Tofu Fish.

  72. Mel,
    Take note that tofu fish is softer and has less binding properties compared to mackerel.
    If you want to use tofu fish, and if you made the paste yourself, try to reduce the water.
    If you used a pot to steam, there could be droplets of water. If the lid is highly domed, then there is less risk of dripping water.

  73. Dear Wendy,

    The tofu was very very well received on my second attempt! Thump Up!!!


  74. Wendy,
    This is very delicious. well received by my family except for my eldest who don't take fish. will make it again.

  75. delia,
    Hmmm.... maybe change to chicken paste for her??
    thanks for letting me know :)

  76. Hi Wendy,
    Can I use rice flour (instead of tapioca flour) to coat as I don't want to buy another type of flour. Thanks.

  77. Hi wendy, i made this twice but when i steamed the mixture never set. I used stainless steel steamer, the carrot, parsley, ham, spring onion were not wet. But i dont have pan so i used glass bowl and i also used baking paper instead of plastic.
    Can you tell me whats wrong with my mixture? the tofu tasted nice but the shape were very ugly since the mixture wasnt set. Thank you. Kat

  78. Kat,
    If you used a bowl, you will definitely need to steam this longer.

  79. hi Wendy,
    My mixture also never set and watery. I used mini steamer, does it means i need to steam longer if the mixture still yellow and watery?

  80. Gise,
    Steam until it sets.
    Sometimes some steamer's lid is too near the food, this also slows down the cooking process, especially if the plate is big. There's no air circulation.

  81. Hi Wendy
    Tried this last nite, so yummy and crispy. Thanks so much for the great recipe.
    What is your advice if i want to increase the fish paste so that the taste is more pronoun - what will be the proportion of fish pastr to tofu then?

  82. Debby,
    If you use more fish paste, it might turn out firmer and won't be tender like tofu.
    But u can just add any amount that you prefer.

  83. hai wendy..
    have been follow you but never give a comment..
    i really love your blog n want to try all your recipe except for n0n-halal food..but first i want to try how to make cendol because i really loves to eat cendol and ur homemade cendol seems easy to made..

    wish me luck! =)

  84. Sharz,
    Hope you like my recipes, try whichever is suitable for you :)

  85. Hi,
    I just tried making today and it didn't set despite streaming it immediately. Do u think it could be because I used three 160g of egg tofu such that it is too wet?

  86. Always,
    that's 90gm extra of tofu. Quite a substantial difference. Try using more fish paste and more starch with the additional amount of tofu.

  87. Icha-icha,
    Yes, you will only lose the crunch factor. It's ok

  88. Hi wendy, do u cover your tofu mixing with cling wrap when u put it on the steamer? Or do you just put the steamer's lid on? I really wanna try this recipe. And how do you make the homemade fish paste?

  89. Icha,
    I just put it direct to steam with only the wok lid, no extra covering.
    The recipe link to the fish paste is in the recipe.

  90. Shall make one day😄😄Thankyou for the post..


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