5 Chinese Tofu Soup Recipes

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This article features 5 Chinese tofu soup recipes that are non-spicy.

I wrote in detail about tofu at What is tofu? This page is sort of a continuation with 5 non-spicy recipes.

The first 2 recipes are vegetarian ones. 

1. Soft tofu soup with fresh tomato

This recipe is so easy and healthy too.

Do you know that tomato is considered one of the top 10 cancer fighting food. It is really nutritious and packed with anti-oxidants. It is also believed to help in lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol. The bright red tomato color makes the soup "cheery" (if one can describe a soup in this manner).

Ingredients

  • 2 large fresh tomatoes
  • 1 box soft tofu
  • 300ml soup stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Wash the tomatoes, score the skin with a knife. Blanch with hot water to help remove the skin. Removing the skin is optional. I usually skip this step as I like tomato skin. But it is hard to digest and so may not be suitable for young children and the elderly
  2. Slice the blanched tomatoes into wedges
  3. Place them in a pot and add the soup stock
  4. Bring to a boil on high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes
  5. Bring the soup back to a boil
  6. Add the tofu and let it cook for approximately 5 minutes
  7. Add salt to taste

2. Soft tofu soup with wakame and leek

Wakame seaweed is a very common ingredient found in Japanese soups, especially the famous miso soup. It shouldn't be too hard to find in major supermarkets. They keep quite well.

Ingredients

  • 1 stalk leek
  • 750ml soup stock
  • 60g carrot
  • 3 fresh shiitake or Chinese mushrooms
  • 5g wakame seaweed
  • 1 box silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp chopped spring onion
  • 2 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

Directions

  1. Wash the leek and slice it thinly at an angle, creating a more interesting shape
  2. Wash, peel and slice the carrot thinly at an angle. You can cut a couple of grooves along the side of the carrot before slicing. It produces a nice flower shape
  3. Soak, wash and slice the mushrooms
  4. Soak the wakame seaweed in water for a few minutes. Drain
  5. Remove tofu carefully from the box. Cut into small cubes
  6. Bring the soup stock to a boil in a pot
  7. Add the leek, carrot and shiitake mushrooms
  8. Bring soup back to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes
  9. Add the wakame seaweed and tofu cubes
  10. Stir in the salt and cook for 2-3 minutes
  11. Remove from heat
  12. Add the sesame oil and spring onions
  13. Serve

The next 2 recipes feature fresh seafood. Seafood goes very well with soft tofu. I think it is because fresh crunchy seafood and soft smooth tofu offer interesting contrasting textures.

3. Soft tofu soup with fresh shrimp

The fresh shrimp and soft tofu combination provides a contrasting texture. Fresh shrimps or prawns is a must for this soup because the soup base is very light and if the prawns aren't fresh, it will affect the taste.

The fresh shrimp and soft tofu combination provides a contrasting texture. Fresh shrimps or prawns is a must for this soup because the soup base is very light and if the prawns aren't fresh, it will affect the taste.

Ingredients

  • 6 large fresh shrimps
  • 200g silken tofu
  • Half a carrot
  • 500ml soup stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut the tofu into strips. To help the tofu keep its shape while cooking, they can be lightly pan-fried before adding to the soup
  2. I prefer the original bland taste and texture of silken tofu, and I do not mind if the tofu breaks up
  3. Wash and devein the prawns. Blanch the prawns quickly in hot water
  4. Wash, peel and julienne the carrot
  5. Bring soup stock to a boil, add all ingredients
  6. Cook on medium low heat for 8 minutes
  7. Add salt and pepper before serving

4. Tofu soup with crab sticks

If your area is endowed with an abundance of fresh crabs, feel free to substitute.

Ingredients

  • 3 crabmeat sticks
  • 1 packet soft tofu
  • 1 tbsp julienned ginger
  • 1 stalk spring onion
  • 1 tbsp dried wakame
  • 1 small bunch sweet pea shoots
  • Sesame seed oil
  • 600ml soup stock

Directions

  1. Cut tofu into long strips
  2. Shred the crab sticks
  3. Wash the spring onion
  4. Soak the dried wakame with cold water. Drain
  5. Bring the dashi stock in a boil
  6. Add the crab stick, tofu, wakame and pea shoots to the stock
  7. Stir and cook
  8. Remove from heat, sprinkle with sesame seed oil, ginger and spring onion
  9. Serve

This last recipe requires the use of cornstarch solution to thicken the soup. If you haven't done this before, you might want to read "How To Thicken Soup The Chinese Way" article for instructions on it. 

5. Silken tofu soup with dried scallop

This is a smooth thickened soup. Dried scallops or 干贝 (gan bei) is a common Chinese dried good. When it is fully re-hydrated, it is plump, slightly chewier and full of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 1 box silken tofu
  • 50g minced greens (this could be frozen spinach, lettuce, mustard green)
  • 2 large dried scallops
  • 300ml soup stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch solution
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of sesame seed oil

Directions

  1. Cut the silken tofu into tiny cubes
  2. Parboil the greens before mincing (unless you are using frozen spinach)
  3. Soak the dried scallops with hot water. When it is re-hydrated, break into smaller pieces
  4. Bring the soup stock, tofu, greens and scallops to a boil in a pot
  5. Add the salt and pepper to taste
  6. Stir in the cornstarch solution to thicken the soup
  7. Remove from the heat
  8. Add a dash of sesame seed oil before serving

These 5 tofu soup recipes are all quick soups, they take less than an hour to prepare and cook. There are other soups featuring tofu on this website, for example, these 2 with a spicy kick. Tofu can also withstand long cooking especially in braise.

I hope you will give tofu, the quintessential Chinese ingredient a try.

Happy Souping, Phoebe




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