Bean curd, also known as tofu, is a wonderful product to cook with. Not only is it a healthy source of protein for vegans and vegetarians, but it also makes a lovely addition to any diet or cuisine. Bean curd can be fried, steamed, grilled, added to soups and broths, skewed, or eaten straight from the package, with the seasoning of your choice.
Below is one of our favorite tofu recipes Chinese style. It is a mouth-watering dish from the Sichuan region in China, which is suitable for any occasion and practically for any type of diet. You will love how simple it is to make, and will probably find most of the ingredients that you need in your pantry and fridge.
In order to achieve a specific texture, this particular recipe uses rehydrated bean curds, but you can easily substitute them with a large block of tofu. Just make sure to use a tofu press to get rid of any excess liquid before cooking. This way it will absorb flavors better and have a tastier texture too.
Stir Fried Bean Curd FAQ
How should I serve Stir-Fried Bean Curd?
With rice - Once you’ve cooked your lovely dish, serve it with white or brown rice. We like a mix of basmati and wild rice, as it also looks very aesthetic and more colorful. Put the rice in a large bowl or deep plate, leaving a hollow middle. Place the stir-fry in the center, and decorate with chopped spring onions and chili flakes, or with freshly chopped chili pepper. You can even squeeze a lime over it for more of a fusion cuisine result.
With noodle and vegetable stir-fry - For this version, throw some diced vegetables into a pan or wok and add your favorite kind of Asian noodles. We recommend bamboo shoots, garlic, bean sprouts, string beans or mange, onions, and carrots.
On a salad bed - Make a salad bed using crunchy Romaine or Little Gem lettuce, blue onion, grated carrot, and baby tomatoes. Optionally add some juicy ripe mango or papaya chunks. Top off with roasted cashews or peanuts.
Roasted vegetables - Roast some eggplant, zucchini, carrots, button mushrooms, and beetroot. Serve on the same plate. Sprinkle with roasted sesame and smoked paprika.
What is bean curd and what is tofu?
Bean curd is really just another term for tofu. A staple of Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian cuisines, tofu is made by curdling the non-dairy milk obtained by boiling dry soybeans, using a coagulant agent. Fresh unseasoned tofu is white in color, neutral tasting, and slightly similar to an omelet in smell and taste. It is gluten-free, and an important source of protein in vegan and vegetarian diets.
Is it the same as fermented bean curd?
No. This type of bean curd is something very different. It is a salty type of preserved, usually seasoned tofu, with a soft and spreadable texture. Due to its pungent smell and sharp taste, it is likened to cheese and is a popular condiment in China. Usually, the flavorings added to this type of tofu contain gluten (e.g. vinegar), making it unsuitable for gluten-sensitive people and those with celiac disease.
How is bean curd packaged?
Fresh bean curd or tofu is usually sold in solid blocks, packaged in water. These have to be stored in the refrigerator. It can also be found dehydrated but this changes the texture slightly, and you have to soak the dried curd in water for several hours or overnight before cooking it. Dried curd is very light in weight without the water content, and does not need refrigeration. The packaging is often similar to that of lasagne sheets. Just like pasta, dried tofu is an excellent option for camping, for example.
No matter how you decide to plate this recipe, it is sure to impress your friends and family and have you looking for more ways to cook up bean curd/tofu!
If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out our Tofu Tacos! Even the meat-lover in the family won't be able to tell that they don't have meat in them!
Bean Curd Home Style: Meat-free and Delicious
12 oz of dried bean curd sticks, rehydrated in water
1 can of preserved bamboo shoots
2 cloves of garlic, grated
2 tsp of ginger, grated
2 tbsp of soy sauce or doubanjiang sauce
1 tbsp of honey
1 tsp of red chili flakes
1/2 tsp of coarsely ground black pepper
2 tbsp of sesame oil
Spring onion, diced, for decoration
Boil the rehydrated bean curds in water for about 10 min (or according to the package instructions).
Mix soy/ doubanjiang sauce, honey, chili flakes, pepper, garlic, and ginger in a separate bowl.
Pat the boiled curds dry and cut them into 2-in long strips.
Bring the sesame oil to medium heat in a frying pan or wok. Add the curd strips and fry for 2-3 min, until lightly golden. Then add the spice mix and bamboo shoots and fry for another 2-3 min, until fragrant. Done, the home-style tofu is ready to serve!
Tip: Optionally, the bean curd strips can also be broiled. In this case, simply place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, and brush them generously with the spice mixture on all sides. Broil the bean curds for about 5 min at 350 °F, until they are nicely browned and fragrant.