Tofu Recipes

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Tofu Dessert in Ginger Syrup (Tau Hu Nuoc Duong) Recipe

Tàu hũ nước đường is a Vietnamese tofu dessert in ginger syrup. The texture of silken tofu is very similar to custard, but without the calories. I used store-bought silken tofu (see tips) and paired it with clementine ginger syrup. The early crop of clementines we harvested from our garden are not extremely sweet. They have a hint of tartness, which is just the way I like them! The zest is so fragrant I had to use it in this syrup.

I have made my own firm tofu before, which is quite easy, but I've always wanted to make silken tofu. After a few searches, I stumbled upon Wendy's beautiful Chinese food blog, where she shares her technique on how to make silken tofu, using Glucono-Delta-Lactone (GDL). I haven't tried her recipe yet, because I first have to find this ingredient. I can't wait to make my own silken tofu; I will definitely keep you posted.


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Mattar Tofu Paneer (Indian Tofu Recipe) Recipe

Mattar paneer is a dish made with peas and Indian cheese. This time, I decided to make the same flavorful dish, but with fewer calories. To accomplish this, I substituted firm tofu in place of traditional paneer cheese.

I fried cubes of tofu the same way as I would paneer, then simmered them in a delectable, creamy onion and tomato curry sauce with green peas. If you’re looking to make a foray into veganism, this is the perfect way to start (see tips).

Of course, if - like my father-in-law - you feel cheated by the absence of golden chunks of fried cheese, you can always try the traditional mattar paneer recipe. I won’t tell!


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Mapo Tofu Recipe Recipe

Mapo Tofu Recipe

10.12.10 by Jackie

I made a variation of mapo tofu using ingredients I had available in the kitchen today. Instead of using fermented black bean sauce, I prepared a thick and spicy sauce with tomatoes, chili bean sauce and dried red chiles. I also added diced carrots and peas to the traditional silken tofu for a bit more nutrition. If you want to tone down the spiciness, you could replace it with sweet and sour sauce instead.

This is a quick and easy vegetarian meal when we’re running out of ingredients and I'm just too lazy to run to the grocery store. Onions, carrots and frozen peas are always on hand in our kitchen and they go great together, so I often use them when I make mapo tofu. You can use pretty much whatever veggies are in your pantry though, so be creative!


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Soybean Soup with Gingko Nuts (Healthy Soup Recipe) Recipe

Soybean soup is my vegetarian version of Vietnamese crab soup, called "súp cua chay". I use instant soy meal that I buy at the Korean market. Once the soy meal mixture is cooked, the appearance of the soup is very similar to crab meat.

In addition to the "fake crab", I add fresh gingko nuts, sautéed shiitake mushrooms and enoki mushrooms to give the soup a meaty texture. The soup is light and healthy, so I serve it often as a first course.


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Banh Mi Mam Chay (Vietnamese Vegetarian Sandwich Recipe) Recipe

A lot of Vietnamese dishes are inspired by French cuisine, because Vietnam was a longtime colony of the French empire. Bánh mì sandwich is an example of a dish that reflects the fusion of both cuisines. The sandwich consists of cilantro, fresh chiles, pickled carrots and usually a meat filling (grilled chicken, which is shredded meat with roasted rice powder) or sometimes a vegetarian filling, served on a baguette, spread with mayonnaise on one side and butter on the other.

For the veggie option, I normally fill the sandwiches with bì chay (shredded tofu with roasted rice powder). But this time, Aunt Danielle stopped by and we made mắm chay. She knows it's my husband Lulu's favorite, so she makes it very often. As I've said before, Aunt Danielle is a sweetheart and an amazing cook, except that she does not share her recipes. She used to run a successful restaurant in the early 90s. She taught me a lot of Vietnamese staple dishes to cook for the family until she found out about PhamFatale.com through her friends. I had to confess and she was not happy. It's funny; family and friends are a lot more reluctant to share their tips and secrets with me, so I have to do a little bit of recon and intelligence gathering.

In the end, Aunt Danielle hasn't entirely showed me how to make mắm chay. We prepped and mixed the ingredients together but she hid a few tricks from me. All I can tell you is that there are a lot of ingredients similar to bì chay involved, such as fried tofu, bean thread noodles, dry roasted rice powder (thinh) and seasonings (fried garlic, sugar and salt). What makes it different from bì chay is the addition of galangal (a type of ginger), young pickling cucumber, chayote squash (trái su su), ripe papaya, fresh pineapple and dried daikon radish cured in brine.

Even though the sandwich is reminiscent of the typical French jambon-beurre (ham and butter sandwich), bánh mì provides a taste of Vietnam. Lulu's been addicted ever since I first introduced him to the Vietnamese version, and if you try one, you will be too!


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