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25 Chinese Tofu Recipes (Authentic And Classic)

Tofu is a popular ingredient in Asia and has been gaining popularity in Western countries with the rise of people looking for plant-based ingredients that are high in protein.

Being made from soy milk, tofu is generally quite bland in its flavor and many people have been turned away because of this. However, if you cook tofu right it can be very flavorful. 

25 Chinese Tofu Recipes (Authentic And Classic)

Tofu also comes in many different types of firmness so you can get the appropriate one for the recipe you are cooking.

In order to show you how good tofu can be, we have compiled a list of 25 different tofu recipes that are packed full of flavor and texture.

RecipeCaloriesPreparation Time
Spicy Cold Tofu865 minutes
Steamed Tofu In Black Bean Sauce11720 minutes
Salt And Pepper Tofu27035 minutes
Tofu Stir-Fry22950 minutes
Vegan Kung Pao Tofu58940 minutes
Super Easy Hoisin Tofu14813 minutes
Easy Fish Tofu Soup23435 minutes
Mapo Tofu15620 minutes
Pineapple Cashew Tofu Stir-Fry46240 minutes
Chinese Braised Tofu48030 minutes

1. Spicy Cold Tofu

You can make this delicious tofu recipe in under 10 minutes and with only a handful of ingredients. It is served cold so it is perfect for the summertime.

There is no cooking involved so no matter your skill level you are able to make this dish. All you need to know is how to mix things in a bowl and some basic knife skills.

The sauce in this recipe is made from soy sauce, garlic, scallions, sugar, sesame oil, and spicy bean paste. You can use less spicy bean paste if you have a lower spice tolerance.

The tofu used is silken tofu which is very soft and creamy, so you have to be careful when cutting it so it retains its shape.

All you have to drizzle the tofu with the sauce and you are done, you can mix it all together if you like. Serve it with rice for a more filling meal.

This dish is traditionally served with century egg but it is an acquired taste so you don’t have to include it if you don’t want to.

2. Steamed Tofu In Black Bean Sauce

This is a very light meal, but still manages to be extremely flavorful. It is great to serve in the summer with rice when the idea of a heavy meal in the hot weather is not ideal.

The dish is fragranced with ginger and Sichuan pepper which appeals to the smell as well as the taste buds.

The sauce is nice and savory being made out of fermented black beans that are salty and provide an umami flavor.

The sauce also includes oyster sauce, soy sauce, and garlic so that it is packed full of flavors that will complement the black beans.

Silken tofu is used so that the meal is very creamy and smooth. It is coated in flour or starch before steaming so that it gets a slight crisp to the outside. Silken tofu is very delicate so be gentle when cutting it.

Once you have your tofu steamed and sauce mixed together you simply pour the sauce on the tofu. It can’t get much more simple than that.

3. Salt And Pepper Tofu

This is a popular take-out dish, but it is very easy to make at home. You get crispy tofu cubes that have been perfectly seasoned at a fraction of the cost.

You can add other seasonings such as chili powder to add a bit of heat to the tofu.

Firm tofu is used as it is easier to cut into cubes and is better for frying with since it is less likely to crumble. The firm tofu gives it an almost meaty texture so it is perfect for vegans or vegetarians.

The tofu is brined before frying so that it has a bolder flavor. The salt and pepper flavor comes from the seasoning added to the tofu while it is being fried.

The sauce is typically a garlic soy-sesame sauce. As the name suggests, all you need is garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.

Simply fry the garlic and oil together, add the soy sauce, and then when it starts to boil remove it from the heat and add the seeds. It is a simple sauce that works perfectly in a variety of dishes.

4. Tofu Stir-Fry

When stir-fried the tofu cubes become crispy and when it is served with vegetables it becomes a healthy and nutritious meal.

This stir-fry is done with a honey garlic sauce that is sweet, salty, and delicious. The use of honey allows the sauce to stick to the tofu and vegetables so they become extra flavorful.

The vegetables in this recipe are zucchini, bell peppers, and carrots so you get nearly all the colors of the rainbow on one plate.

It is so simple to make with the vegetables being cooked first before the tofu and sauce are added.

This is because the vegetables take slightly longer to cook but you want to make sure you don’t overcook them as you want them to still be somewhat crunchy.

You want to make sure that you press all of the liquid out of the tofu before stir-frying it so that it can crisp up properly and absorb the flavors of the sauce.

5. Vegan Kung Pao Tofu

This Kung Pao tofu uses Sichuan peppercorns that are known for being a numbing spice which makes this dish authentic and addictive.

This is a vegan take on the classic Kung Pao chicken but it is still packed full of protein and flavor.

While this recipe uses extra firm tofu, it is still recommended that you press out any liquid so that way it fries into super crispy tofu chunks.

The sauce is sweet, spicy, salty, and a little bit tart. The tartness comes from the black vinegar. You can add as much chili oil as you like depending on how much you enjoy spicy food.

It is recommended to add roasted peanuts to this dish for extra texture and a nice flavor difference.

6. Super Easy Hoisin Tofu

Hoisin sauce is one of the most popular and for good reason. It is sweet, salty, and thick, perfect for coating tofu.

This recipe uses pre-made hoisin sauce for convenience but you can use a homemade one if you prefer.

It also has hot chili paste to add an extra layer of flavor to the dish but you can omit this if you don’t enjoy spicy food.

The tofu used is pressed extra firm tofu so that it gets nice and crispy when fried. It also allows the hoisin sauce the stick to it better when they are cooked together.

7. Easy Fish Tofu Soup

There is nothing better on a cold day than a hot bowl of soup, and this fish tofu soup is comforting and healthy.

It has a slightly earthy taste to it from the mushroom and a gentle heat from the chilies. Ginger, napa cabbage, and bean sprouts are also included in the broth for flavor and texture.

The tofu used is firm tofu and is boiled in the soup so that it absorbs all the flavors of the broth.

This recipe suggests marinating your fish before so that it becomes tender and flavorful. You can use catfish fillet but it will probably be easier to find tilapia.

8. Mapo Tofu

Mapo tofu is a simple dish to make that is popular for its flavor profile. The dish consists of tofu, a spicy sauce, and minced meat. The minced meat is typically pork or beef, this recipe uses pork.

The sauce is made out of soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, sugar, and chili oil. So you get a rich combination of flavors that work perfectly with the tofu and pork.

This recipe isn’t overly spicy, so if you can’t handle spice very well then this recipe is worth a try.

This dish is best served with a portion of rice.

9. Pineapple Cashew Tofu Stir-Fry

Nothing makes a dish a summer staple more than the inclusion of pineapple.

It gives a unique sweetness to a dish that can enhance any spices or saltiness. The pineapple also brings a tanginess that really makes this dish stand out.

Not only is pineapple sauce used in this recipe, but chunks of pineapple are used to bring a unique texture.

As well as pineapple, this tofu stir-fry also has cashews which give the dish a slightly nutty flavor and they are oddly creamy which works well with the tofu.

Extra firm tofu is used as it is the best for stir-frying. This is because it holds its shape in the pan and can crisp up.

Also included in this stir-fry are bell peppers, ginger, red onion, garlic, and scallions so that way there is extra color and flavor.

10. Chinese Braised Tofu

By braising the tofu you give it a very crispy outside while keeping the inside soft and flavorful.

You want to cut your tofu into relatively thick slices so that when you fry them over high heat only the outside crisps up. Too thin and all of the tofu will cook and you won’t get a soft center.

The sauce is a soy oyster sauce that is salty and has a mild fishy taste. This goes perfectly with the tofu and vegetables as it thickens up and evenly coat every part of them.

The vegetables used are carrots, broccoli, and snap peas. These are relatively easy to find so you can make this dish year-round.

11. Pipa Tofu

This is probably the most unique-looking tofu recipe on this list. That is because the tofu is shaped into a pipa, an old Chinese instrument that looks a bit like a lute.

You can use any tofu you like in this recipe as it is getting blended up into a paste.

This tofu paste is then mixed with mushrooms, carrots, flour, and an egg white. This way the tofu can be molded into the shape of a pipa before being cooked.

The tofu pipa is steamed first so that it better holds its shape before being fried.

The crispy tofu pipa is then served with soy sauce and mushroom sauce.

12. Steamed Tofu

This steamed tofu recipe is simple to make and creates a tender tofu dish. It uses silken tofu so that it can melt in your mouth and helps to blend all the flavors together. 

Silken tofu is very delicate so make sure you carefully remove it from the package so you don’t break it.

A good idea is to cut the tofu on the serving plate so that way it doesn’t break apart when attempting to move it.

Make sure your serving plate can fit inside your steamer if you are planning on doing this.

The sauce is very rich in flavor which works well with the tofu. It is made from soy sauce, oyster sauce, black vinegar, Thai pepper, and garlic to name a few ingredients.

13. Tofu And Broccoli Stir-Fry

While this recipe may sound simple, it is packed full of flavor.

The tofu is marinated in dark soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and regular soy sauce.

This gives the tofu a very deep flavor that will pair well with the sauce that it will be stir-fried in. It is recommended to use extra firm tofu as that works best when marinating tofu.

The sauce also has dark and regular soy sauce so go with the tofu. Hoisin sauce is also included in the sauce so that it gets a slight sweetness to it and thickens up.

The broccoli is steamed beforehand as it will take a long time to stir-fry. You can steam it to your preferred tenderness just make sure you don’t overcook it as it can turn to mush.

14. Szechuan Tofu And Veggies

This recipe uses Szechuan sauce which is slightly sweet and has a numbing heat to it. Numbing spice is usually people’s preferred spice as it can be pleasant to eat and mainly provides flavor.

Dried chilies are later added to give the dish more heat but you can omit this step if you prefer. If you do use the dried chilies then take them out before serving.

The tofu is first pan-fried by itself so that it gets a nice crispiness.

This will work with the crunch of the vegetables used in this recipe which are cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, and asparagus. You want to fry these until they are cooked but haven’t turned completely soft.

You cook all the vegetables in the sauce so that way they get coated and then add the tofu right at the end so that you don’t break it apart when stir-frying.

15. Spicy Black Pepper Tofu

For those looking for a spicy recipe, then this is the one for you. It uses black peppercorns, chili bean sauce, and gochujang for spiciness. Gochujang is a Korean red pepper paste.

There is also half a jalapeno included in this recipe but you can omit this if you feel this dish is spicy enough.

The sauce has soy sauce and maple syrup to offset the spice and give the tofu a salty and sweet flavor.

In this recipe, the tofu is air-fried so that it gains a light crispiness with little oil involved. To achieve this you will need to use extra firm tofu that has had all the liquid pressed out of it.

16. Fried Tofu In Chinese Sesame Soy Sauce 

This recipe is super quick and can be done in under 15 minutes, perfect for those who need a last-minute meal.

First, the tofu cubes are fried in a dusting of flour so that they crisp up a little bit, you want to make sure your tofu is dry before doing this.

The sauce is very simple only being made from soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. However, each of these ingredients brings a strong flavor that creates a perfect sauce.

Since this recipe is so simple you are able to customize it as you please by adding different vegetables or spices.

17. Tofu With Black Bean Sauce

Black bean sauce can turn any meal incredibly savory and it works brilliantly with tofu.

Fermented black beans are used to give it a deep flavor which is then fried with garlic and chilies to further enhance their flavor.

The tofu used is firm tofu as that way it won’t break apart immediately when stir-frying it. You will want to lightly fry it first so that it gains a gorgeous golden brown color.

The black bean sauce also includes soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch so it will really thicken up and coat the tofu.

18. Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu

There is something about a simple tofu dish that can really change your mind on this often disliked protein. When cooked right tofu can become incredibly flavorful and tender.

In order to get crispy tofu, you have to press out all of the liquid and coat the cubes in cornstarch before frying. 

The sauce is made from garlic, honey, soy sauce, and chili paste. This way it is slightly spicy but is ultimately thick and sticky.

19. Soft Tofu with Silky Egg Sauce

This recipe is the perfect comfort food. It can heat you up on a cold day, or make you instantly feel better if you are feeling a bit down. The broth is super flavorful and the eggs are silky smooth.

Silk tofu is used so that way it melts in your mouth like the egg in this recipe. 

The goal is to make a thick sauce that you can pour the whisked egg into so that it cooks into almost ribbons. This way they blend perfectly into the flavors of the sauce.

The sauce is made from vegetable stock, soy sauce, and sugar. The dish also has mushrooms, carrots, peas, and corn for flavor and color.

You can serve this dish with rice or enjoy it as is.

20. Chinese Tofu Rolls

This recipe is unique in that it uses tofu skins instead of a block of tofu as the main star of this dish. The tofu skins are used as a wrapper in this recipe and taste almost like concentrated tofu.

Theoretically, you can put anything you like in these tofu rolls. This recipe uses carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, and black fungus.

Of course, regular tofu is also used in this recipe after being marinated and thinly sliced. Make sure you use extra firm tofu as that is the best for marinating.

These rolls are served with a dipping sauce made from ginger, green onion, liquid amino, sugar, and sesame oil.

21. Sweet Tofu 

That’s right, tofu can also be made into a dessert. This sweet tofu is usually served with sweet ginger syrup.

This recipe requires a bit more work than the other ones on this list as it requires you to make tofu from scratch. However, if you are confident in your skills then this is definitely worth a try.

In the end, you get a super smooth tofu pudding that can appease your sweet tooth.

22. Chinese Braised Tofu And Veggie Stir-Fry

This recipe provides extra crispy tofu, that is served with a variety of tasty vegetables. They are all cooked in a gravy-like sauce that can be served with rice or on its own.

Firm tofu is ideal for braising as it is less likely to break apart. The sauce in the recipe is full of flavors like chicken stock, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and garlic.

23. General Tso’s Tofu

General Tso’s chicken is one of the most popular Chinese dishes in the west and this is a wonderful take on it replacing the chicken with tofu.

The tofu is tossed in hot sauce, honey, and sesame seeds for flavor before being dusted in cornstarch and fried. This gives the tofu a crispy texture while also retaining a sweet and spicy flavor.

This flavor of the tofu will match perfectly with the sauce. Some of the ingredients in the sauce are soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sugar.

24. Spicy Tofu With Creamy Coconut Sauce

Spicy food and coconut go perfectly together. This recipe uses coconut oil and coconut milk to bring a tropical flavor to the tofu. It also helps to combat the spiciness of the recipe.

The spices used are chili paste and curry paste which are offset with brown sugar. You can add more or less spice to the sauce depending on your preference.

Firm-pressed tofu is used so that it can hold its shape and absorb all the flavors of the sauce.

25. Salty Or Sweet Douhua

This recipe creates a deliciously smooth tofu pudding that can be consumed savory or sweet.

It involves making tofu from scratch and then adding ingredients to make it sweet or salty. For sweet you add sugar or syrup, and for savory you include different spices.

While it is time consuming, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to make your own tofu.

Final Thoughts

Tofu is a great source of protein that should be added to your diet. Hopefully, after trying these recipes you will find that tofu is delicious too.

25 Chinese Tofu Recipes (Authentic And Classic)

Chinese cuisine use a lot of the plant-based protein tofu. Here are 25 of our favorite Chinese tofu recipes.


  • Pick a recipe from the list above
  • Click the recipe name and visit the website
  • Collect the ingredients and cook the food
  • Enjoy – don’t forget to leave a review

Recipe Video

Jess Smith


Tuesday 25th of April 2023

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Tuesday 18th of April 2023

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