a bite of china

a bite of china

Thursday, December 5, 2013

[Recipe] Tofu also has brain? - Beijing style tender tofu "soup" (tofu nao)

                                                              Beijing style Tofu Nao
Directly down to my recipe with red label~

The softest tofu is Chinese tofu “brains,” even called Dou Fu Nao in northern China or Dou Hua in south area, which you can only get on the street from food carts or in a traditional deli without my recipe. It’s not cubed, the vendor scoops the freshest, lightest, creamiest curds out of a massive vat of fresh tofu. 

It has different flavors in different cities. In most northern cities, people eat tofu brains in a savory soy sauce-based gravy with pickled vegetables on the top. In Shanghai, where the cuisine tends towards the blander and sweeter, it’s served simply with dried shrimp and scallions. And for Cantonese, Dou Hua is preferred with raw sugar, honey or sweetened fruit on the side.

For now, I won't overwhelm you by further details, and let's just start to prepare your Beijing style breakfast~


Beijing style Tofu Nao

[Main points] 

1) Gravy is the core factor that form its Beijing style. 
-Original gravy is better thickened by potato starch.
-Dried vegetables and egg flowers help adding mouthfeel.
-Chili oil is optional.

2)Replace the tofu part of Dou Fu Nao with soft tofu (acceptable replacement in general mouthfeel)

[Ingredients & Preparation]  





Gravy: {A} Green onion 2 table spoon (chopped),
                   Ginger 1 table spoon (fine chopped),
             {B}Dried daily lily bud 20 pieces (soften by warm water then cut it by 1 inch),
                  Dried cloud ear 5 pieces(soften by warm water then cut it by slice),
                  Fresh white mushroom slice1 cup,
             Mushed pork or lamb 1/4 cup,
             Left over broth from stewing pork or beef 2.5 cups,
             1 medium size egg (whole egg, beaten),
             Vegetable oil 1 table spoon,
             Soy sauce 2 table spoon,
             Starch 2 table spoon (add 4 table spoons of water and mix well).
             Seasoning with salt and white paper.
Tofu: (replacement is applicable) tender/ soft tofu 1 piece

[How to]


  1. Preheat a deep pan with "high power", then put vegetable oil and {A} into the heated pan, mix them until it making sound. 
  2. Add mushed meat with soy sauce then stir fried it until color turn to light brown
  3. Add {B} and stir well till mushroom become soft.
  4. Pour beef/pork broth into pan and boil it with a lid.
  5. Add starch-water mixture then wait for next boiling.
  6. Add beaten egg to make egg flower after broth become thick and top with big bobbles. Turn off the heat after seasoning and ready for serve.
  7. Heat soft tofu by putting it into hot water for 4 mins (176 F/ 80 C)
  8. Scoop warmed tofu into small bow and topping with gravy from 6.



Bon appetite~ 好胃口~