2 Spicy Tofu Soup With Szechuan Preserved Mustard And Korean Kimchi 辣豆腐汤谱

  1. Homemade Chinese Soups
  2. What is tofu
  3. Spicy tofu soup

Both spicy tofu soup recipes featured here use preserved vegetables instead of chilli or chilli oil for the heat factor. 

This is a continuation from my "What is Tofu?" article and focuses on spicy tofu soups. Do you know that tofu goes very well with spices and heat?

Not from chili or chili oil but from spicy ingredients like spicy preserved vegetables. 

四川榨菜 (Si Chuan Zha Cai) and Korean kimchi are both preserved vegetables. 

The first is the stem of a knobby mustard. It is salty, spicy, slightly tangy and quite crunchy. It is julienned thinly or chop finely before being added to dishes. Nobody eat it in chunks.

Kimchi is napa cabbage pickled whole It is almost always spicy.

It is sliced into large pieces before serving. It is not as salty as 四川榨菜. I once met this Korean girl at a youth hostel in Taiwan. She told me that she left a jar of homemade kimchi in the refrigerator and that I am welcome to it. I found it strange until I was told that many Koreans never leave home without some homemade kimchi. 

Both can be eaten on its own as side dishes to rice or congee. They can also be used to flavour dishes. They go especially well with tofu in soup.

Recipe 1: Sichuan spicy tofu soup

I found this hot and sour soup with chicken and tofu in Everything Bean Curd! by Betty Saw. I was flipping through the book at the public library and this recipe caught my attention. Besides the hot and sour soup, there are many other interesting tofu recipes in the book. 

Betty is considered a celebrity chef in Malaysia. She has written a few cookbooks mostly on Chinese and healthy cooking.


  • 100g chicken breast
  • 1.5 litre chicken stock
  • 15g Sichuan preserved vegetable 四川榨菜 (Si chuan zha cai)
  • 30g carrot
  • 2 water chestnuts
  • 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 100g canned straw mushrooms
  • 1 packet soft bean curd / tofu
  • 2 red chillies
  • 100g crab meat
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 125ml of chicken stock
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp black vinegar


  1. Cut the chicken breast into long thin strips
  2. Marinate the chicken with pepper, salt and cornstarch
  3. Slice the Sichuan preserved vegetable into thin slices
  4. Peel and shred the carrot and water chestnuts
  5. Cut the bean curd into thin strips
  6. Wash and slice the mushrooms into thin strips
  7. Bring the chicken stock to a boil
  8. Add the Sichuan preserved vegetable, carrot, water chestnuts, mushrooms, chillies and black vinegar
  9. Simmer the soup on low heat for about 10 minutes
  10. Add the chicken
  11. Bring the soup back to a boil
  12. Add the bean curd and crab meat
  13. Simmer for about 5 minutes
  14. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken the soup
  15. Stream the beaten egg in to make egg flowers
  16. Remove from heat and serve

Recipe 2: Korean Spicy Tofu Soup

You should try this recipe during a cold cold winter. I guarantee it will warm your entire body up and satisfy your soul. 


  • 2 boxes of silken tofu
  • 200g pork belly
  • 1 leek
  • 1 packet of kimchi
  • 300ml soup stock
  • Pinch of salt and sugar
  • Dash of vinegar


  1. Cut the silken tofu into size-able chunks
  2. Slice the pork belly
  3. Cut the leek into smaller sections
  4. Place the kimchi at the bottom of a Korean cast iron pot or a claypot
  5. Next goes the tofu slices, pork slices and leek
  6. Add the soup stock
  7. Bring the pot to a boil and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or till the pork slices are done
  8. Add the seasonings just before serving. Do test before adding since kimchi is already very salty and spicy.

Happy Souping, Phoebe