Fried Yellow Bean Tofu


Fried Yellow Bean Tofu

In this less traditional version of Shan tofu, yellow split peas lend texture while cornstarch and wheat starch help hold it together, especially when it’s frying. (Wheat starch is available at Asian grocery stores, and it helps smooth out the texture of the tofu. You can skip it, but be prepared for a chunkier texture.)

    Once the tofu has cooled and set, you can slice it and fry it. Tamarind Ginger Dressing (page 219), Sweet Chile Sauce (page 220), or any kind of ginger-soy sauce are also great with the tofu. Extra fried pieces can be diced and mixed into Rainbow Salad (page 95) or Superstar Vegetarian Noodles (page 92) in place of the regular soybean tofu.

Makes one 8 by 4-inch Block; Serves 8

½ cup yellow split peas

2 cups water
⅓ cup chickpea flour

⅓ cup cornstarch

2 tablespoons wheat starch

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 ½ cups canola oil

Tamarind Ginger Dressing (page 219), for dipping


Cover the split peas with about 1 inch of water. Soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain the split peas through a fine-mesh strainer, shaking off the excess water.

Lightly oil an 8 by 4-inch loaf pan or similar-sized food storage container.

In a blender or food processor, blend the split peas and 1 cup of the water. Blend thoroughly for a few minutes until it’s as smooth as you can make it. Blend in the flour, cornstarch, wheat starch, salt, and turmeric.

Transfer the puree to a 4-quart saucepan and whisk in the remaining 1 cup of water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon (preferable one with a straight side to scrape the bottom of the pot), until the puree is about as thick as Play-Doh (and similar in texture when you touch it), 5 to 8 minutes. It will also leave a film on the bottom of the pot.

Pour into the oiled pan and flatten as best as possible. (It’s okay if the top isn’t smooth, but a small oiled offset spatula can help spread it out.) Let cool for 20 minutes at room temperature and then refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.

Once the tofu is set, unmold it and slice it in half lengthwise. Slice each rectangle crosswise into ½-inch pieces.


Ryan Hughes