Cantonese Smothered Tofu

Need an easy tofu recipe? Here’s one for you, a simple smothered tofu recipe that you can easily cook up on a weekday to enjoy with a bowl of freshly cooked steamed rice. Cantonese Smothered Tofu is a dish of lightly coated deep fried tofu coated with a thick mushroom-based sauce with diced mushrooms and vegetables

I don’t know why a lot of people don’t like tofu, is it becuase of the texture or the lack of flavour, whatever it is I guess these individuals is missing a lot becuase when tofu is prepared well then it can be as amazing as a nice cut of meat, it can absorb amazing flavours and it can also have great texture. Growing up I don’t like tofu as well, apart from Taho which most Filipinos grew up with. Tofu when I was young was this weird texture ingredient without flavour, but as I get to know foreign cuisines, I started to love it especially when I moved to Malaysia where this is a common ingredient in some curries. I was lucky enough to be exposed to different cuisines otherwise I will not even appreciate a properly prepared tofu dish.

Tofu for many would be this soft funny ingredient but there are many textures that this humble ingredient can achieve, yes soft is one and you can see them on Mapo Tofu, then there the ultra-silky soft ones like the ones you see in Fried Egg Tofu and Eggplants, then off course the middle ground of soft and hard like the ones in Kimchi Jjigae, then you have this cripsy outer layer with soft insides from the Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu and finally a mostly crispy tofu experience in Tokwat Baboy. All of these examples are just focusing on texture but as mentioned earlier tofu is like a sponge specially when fried to any sauce you use on it will be absorbed giving it a flavour boost.

So, did I convinced you or do you already love tofu? If not, what don’t you like about it? Anyways I suggest give our recipe for today a try, it might change your mind. It’s a really nice simple vegetarian dish made with deep fried tofu served with this mushroom sauce that is overflowing with umami, the sauce mellows down the crunchiness making it nicely chewy while it absorbs those flavourful sauce that just oozes out on every bite.

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Cantonese Smothered Tofu

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Chinese


Need an easy tofu recipe? Here’s one for you, a simple smothered tofu recipe that you can easily cook up on a weekday to enjoy with a bowl of freshly cooked steamed rice.


Units Scale


  • 2 block soft tofu, approx. 500 grams, each block cut into 16 triangle sections
  • oil, for deep frying


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup + 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour


  • 3 pcs dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in 3/4 cup boiling water then diced
  • 1/2 carrot, diced
  • 2 pc string beans, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or 1/2 cup vegetable stock (for vegetarian option)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 stalks spring onions (white and greens separated)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt
  • white pepper


  1. Heat up a wok filled with enough oil for deep frying to 180C.
  2. In a flat surface place sliced tofu then lightly drizzle 1/2 cup all-purpose flour to coat each tofu piece.
  3. In a bowl mix eggs and 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour, dip each tofu piece into the bowl then immediately deep fry it in the wok with hot oil. Do it with the remaining tofu, do it in small batches so temperature will not drop. Deep fry until tofu turns golden brown and crispy. Place tofu on serving platter then set it aside.
  4. Remove all but 2 tbsp oil from the wok. Add the garlic and white parts of spring onions then sauté for a few seconds.
  5. Add the shiitake, carrot, and string beans, stir fry for a few seconds.
  6. Pour the Shaoxing wine let it steam then pour the stock together with the liquid used for rehydrating the mushroom bring to a boil then add the dissolved cornstarch.
  7. Add sesame oil, season with salt and white pepper then turn heat off.
  8. Pour sauce over deep fried tofu, drizzle green parts of spring onions on top then serve.


5 Responses

  1. The tofu triangles are perfectly fried and golden crispy. This dish has me want to eat some tofu again….

  2. suituapui says:

    Would be a great dish for our Chinese New Year Reunion dinner. We just had that last Saturday – in my blogpost today. Hop over to see what special dishes we had!

  3. We are huge, tofu, fans here, so I have never deep-fried it. I think it’s time to give it a try, using your recipe. A perfect recipe to enjoy in the lunar new year!

  4. No need to convince me, I adore tofu in all its forms, firm or soft or silky. Fried, braised… you name it. I’ve had it made this way (or something very much like it) and enjoyed it very much.

  5. I like tofu – even when it’s quite plain (What I don’t like also is the weird, too soft and soggy texture.) This tofu looks wonderful – nicely goldened coating and great and complex flavours!

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