Foodie

Friday, June 03, 2005

Tofu Fah

This dessert is very versatile as it can be served warm or cold and the degree of sweetness to each it's own. I personally like it hot, hot so i would microwave my bowl of tofu fah for 2 mins on high.

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Ingredients:

240 gm soya beans
2 liters of water
1 1/2 tsp of gypsum powder
2 level tbsp of cornflour
1/2 cup of warm water


Method:



  1. Soak soya beans using cold water for 5 to 8 hrs and if with hot water 3 to 5 hrs.
  2. Liquidfy the soya beans with 2 liters of water and pass through a cloth bag.
  3. Use a 8 qt stainless pot with heavy bottom, cook the soya milk, stirring all the time, when it comes to full boil, let foam rise to top of pot and quickly remove from fire. Remove the foam and return to fire and let it foam up another 2 more times.
  4. Before the third foam, dilute the gypsum powder in the warm water and stir in the cornstarch.
  5. After the third foam, remove/turn of fire and slowly stir in the cornstarch and gypsum mixture and cover pot with kitchen towel, then the lid.
  6. Let the tofu fah to set and do not open lid, at least for the first 15 minutes. The longer you let the tofu fah to set the firmer the texture.
  7. Serve hot or cold with Gingered syrup.

Gingered Syrup:

Cook 1 cup sugar with 1/2 cup water and a few slices of ginger(about 8 - 10) until sugar dissolves and let it cook down abit until syrupy.

Strain to remove ginger slices.

64 comments:

gina said...

Lily, the one that you posted at KC is different from the one you had here in your blog. Recently, I have tried it using Zu's recipe via her blog. It turn out okay. But I just curious about yours, about the cooking method. what is the purpose of 3x cooking process? Thanks.

lilyng said...

Gina

the recipe is the same as i have posted in your blog, the only difference is, the one in my blog, i have retyped the method The purpose of allowing it to foam or full boil is to ensure that the temperature of milk is high enough to cook the cornstarch.

Anonymous said...

Buruk muka cermin dibelah bwa ha haha.
This is the case of not understanding the science of cooking. Will 1.5 tbsp instead of 2 tbsp of corn flour make that much difference? Will 150ml instead of 125ml (1/2 cup) water make the world revolve the other way around?
I wonder.....

lilyng said...

anonymous

you are absolutely right, making tofu fah might have it's idiocy but it is not rocket science but cooking science. the original recipe is posted in Rainbow Connection and the sifu said to use 1 1/2 tbsp(slightly heaped) so it will be 2 tbsp level. In any recipe when it is silent, it should be level. As for the water, the sifu suggested using the soya milk but i have chose to use water as it is easier to see the gypsum and cornstarch mixing and dissolving. The slightamount of water will alter the texture of the tofu fah as the gypsum will only coagulate the protein in the soyamilk and water will ooze away.
sorry for the inconsistence.

buzzbuzz said...

Hi Lily, I don't know if you would see this comment but I would like to ask you a few questions that came up when I was making the Tofu Fah. For some reason, my tofu fah turned out looking like scrambled eggs and it tasted a little elastic too!! What happened? I do make my own soya bean milk but never went beyond to making tofu fah. I also followed your receipe to make sure I didn't mess up (but it did!). Hope you can enlightened me on this. Thnx and my email is ctan-looi@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

Hello:
Where do you buy the gypsum powder? I know you can likely get gypsum at the hardware store but is this the same thing as the one you put into this dessert???

lilyng said...

anonymous

i get my gypsum from the asian stores and you could get them online too.tofu fah can be made with nigari and lactone too.

speedoflight said...

Can you tell me the online store (URL) that you buy your gypsum from.

Thanks.

lilyng said...

speedoflight

you could buy from http://soymilkmaker.com/coagulant.html

Joanna said...

Hi Lily,

I have long wanted to make my own sweet tofu curd! One question - when you say to "liquify the soya beans with the water and pass through a cloth bag" do you mean just adding the beans to the 2L of water and then sieving out the beans? I am quite confused about that, so it'll be great if you could please clarify that for me :)

riverina_ripple said...

Hi Lily,

I have long wanted to make my own sweet tofu curd, so it's so good to finally find a recipe for it here!

One question - I'm a bit confused about the "liquify the soya beans with the water and pass through a cloth bag". Does that mean to literally add the beans to the 2L of water and then sieve out the beans? It'll be great if you could please clarify that for me :)

riverina_ripple said...

Hi, sorry, me again

Just wondering if you could please provide a recipe for gingered syrup :)

thanks in advance!

lilyng said...

joana

to liquidfy meaning blending the soaked soya beans with water then pass or strain through a cloth bag. the sieve is not fine enough.

i will add the recipe for gingered syrup in this post

Joanna said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks for posting the recipe for gingered syrup.

So by blending, do you mean to use an actual blender? or just blend the beans into the water by using an electric beater or with a wooden spoon? also, will any cloth do?

thanks a million!

lilyng said...

joana

yes, blending in an actual blender and getting the beans all blended and liquidfied and it looks like milk - soya milk. The milk has to be strained through a cloth, any cloth that will not allow the residue to pass through, otherwise you will end with a rough result.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if you can help me.
I've just soya milk instead of the 'hard way'.
I've managed to purchase gypsum powder from the chinatown, but follow the rest of the procedures...
my tau fu fah will not be harden!!
it is still soya milk..
i've tried several times, but i still fail!
help~~

lilyng said...

anonymous

before you start making, you would have to look for a pot which is not too big and not too small as the milk will overflow when it boils.

you would have to let the milk boil, stir until the foam subsides, then repeat for 2 more times before you add in the gypsum and cornflour solution.

N.M. said...

I would like to know what is the function of cornflour and gypsum powder? How to make the tofu fah firmer?

lilyng said...

n.m.

the cornflour is to bind and give texture to the tofu fah. the gypsum powder is needed to co-agulate the protein present in the soya milk.

to have a more firm texture use more cornflour. using too much gypsum might make the tofu fah rough

catface said...

This site is sent from heaven. I feel like an exile here in India because I don't find half the ingredients to make the things I love. I'm going to make tofu fah as soon as I get some food grade gypsum..or is there some other coagulant I can use. Will soon be making kaya and when I smuggle in some pandan leaves will make all the kueh. Do you have a recipe for the sweet chilled soup...cheng teng?

lilyng said...

catface

i have a friend in singapore and she has used lactone with success.

i would suggest you bring back the pandan paste - it is more fragrant and save you alot of time getting the juice

if i find out what cheng teng is, then i will perhaps try it, if i can get the ingredients

Nick said...

Hi Lily,
cheng teng is more of a singaporean term for a dessert ; in malaysia it's called different names, e.g say goh tong (4 fruits soup in literal translation) or lin chee kang.

Nick

Janine said...

Dear Lily,
I am a Malaysian living in Sweden, it is hard to find Tofu here. Do you have a practical and easy to make recipe which always succeed?
Thanks.

Regards, Janine

lilyng said...

janine

do you mean if i have the recipe or how to make tofu?

Janine said...

Dear Lily,
I mean your method of making tofu if you do it yourself or if you have a recipe on tofu making which is simple, easy to use, practical and seldom fails. That means you have tried making it successfully.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

I just found your site. I love your recipes. For you info, we can use citric acid instead of gypsum powder to make tofu fah. I read that there is one outlet in KL (at Ikano)using it - more healthy. There are also a few 'Pasar Malam' recipe books using it in their tofu fah recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi lily,
I been trying to make Tofu Fah according ur recipe but mine turn out to be like a 'egg flower soup'. It did not get harden at all. I make the soy milk with soy milk machine and then i put it back into pot and let it boil.
Help! I been try it several time but still fail.

lilyng said...

anonymous

me too was not able to make good firm but soft tofu fah until i realised alot of factors which determine failure. i was only making 1/2 recipe therefore there was not enough liquid to create enough heat to cook the cornstarch and to top matter worst, i was making it in winter and i am 5280 miles above sea level.

first check if you are using the correct coagulant - sook sek koh.

the freshness of the cornstarch

the milk has to be to come to the boil, three times before you add the coagulant and cornstarch solution.

the pot use must not be too big

Seal the lid/cover of pot with kitchen towel to seal in as much heat as possible

good luck

Anonymous said...

hey there!

I tried to make this tofu fah twice :( and the first time i used potato starch.. so it went kinda lumpy and the 2nd time when i used the corn starch + gypsum, it ended up being like scrambled eggs. Could it be due to the fact that i used too much water? Because the thing was quite watery even after hardening or maybe i was stirring too much while it was hardening... :( Hope to receive an enlightenment. Please do email me on doug.lau@hotmail.com and thanksss heaps for your recipe btw

lilyng said...

doug

i will certainly try to help you out. i had experienced the same and gone through this.

will email you

Anonymous said...

I've had the same problems as well. I've attempted it soooo many times and it still turns out all lumpy and egg flowery like.
As soon as I pour the soya milk in, it went all wrong!
Could it be the heat problem?

lilyng said...

anonymous

did you pour the hot soya milk into the cornstarch/gypsum solution? i used to do that and found that it was too scary to handle a big pot of hot soya milk. now i found that i could just stir the solution in when the milk is hot enough.

heat is very vital in this matter.

Anonymous said...

but as soon as the cornstarch/gypsum solution goes in to the soya milk, the whole thing just went all wrong. It started to seperate!

lilyng said...

anonymous

i am so sorry, it did not work out for you. i don't really know what happened. i hope that any readers in this thread can help

asan said...

I have never made Tofu fah from scratch...had made them from a box to make tofu by HOUSE from Japan....using more water will end with tofu fah and even with this commercial preparation. I have had failure and ended up with soy milk. The instructions are different but the coagulant provided is lactone. They call for dissolving the soy powder in water then bringing the solution to a full boil over high heat with constant stirring with a whisk (hard to see the boil with this) then simmer for 3-4 mins (con't whisking). Turn off heat and add coagulant immediately, give a quick stir then pour into container (I usu the thermos pot). Don't know if you can use the above to try experimenting diff ways, etc. Maybe, after the third boil from Lily's instructions, simmer for 3-4 mins, turn off heat and then add coagulant (not the same type)? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lily,
Pangsar(borax) is a cleaning agent, or rather is a poison if added in food preparation.

lilyng said...

anonymous

could there be a food grade for pangsar? i don't know, but i do know that it is used in quite a number of chinese food prep.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
Is borax (pangsar) and gypsum the same thing ? What else is gypsum used in ?

lilyng said...

anonymous

according to wikipedia

Uses of Gypsum

Drywall

Plaster ingredient.

Fertilizer and soil conditioner.
In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Nova Scotia gypsum, often referred to as plaister, was a highly sought fertilizer for wheat fields in the United States.

Plaster of Paris (surgical splints; casting moulds; modeling).

A tofu (soy bean curd) coagulant, making it ultimately a major source of dietary calcium, especially in Asian cultures which traditionally use very few dairy products.

Adding hardness to water used for Homebrewing.

An ingredient in the popular snack food Twinkie

Blackboard chalk.

A component of Portland cement used to prevent flash setting of concrete.

Soil Water Potential monitoring (soil moisture tension)

A medicinal agent in Traditional Chinese medicine called Shi Gao.

lilyng said...

hi readers

a reader, residing here Lewisville, TX. it's near Garland, Dallas, would like to know where she can buy gypsum for making tofu fah.

thanks

Lavannya said...

Dear Lily,

I am a Malaysian living in Maldives. I have a 3 year old son, and cant find any tofu or even soya beans here! Nevertheless, have 1 precious kg of soya beans which my friend has brought for me from home.

Thus my question, can i re use the soya residue, so as to get more soya water?like coconut? or can i add certain quantities of water to the soya water to have more soya water? do u also have other recipes like egg tofu and anything with tofu?

Hope you reply. Thanking you.

lilyng said...

lavannya

soya milk is obtained when you soak the beans, blend with water(the more water, the more liquid the milk will be), you can then boil the blended mixture and then strain through a muslin cloth or a very fine sieve. the residue that is left behind is called okara in japanese and you can make bread, pancake, fritters etc with it. if you choose to strain before you boil the milk then the okara has to be steamed cooked otherwise it is toxic. When boiling the milk, be sure to stir constantly as it burns easily.

for egg tofu, sub the water in my steamed egg recipe with soya milk.

Anonymous said...

Why is my tofu fah like have many bubbles when it set? When I scoop it up the bottom part look so rough although the texture are smooth? It is because of the method? I pour the hot soya milk to the mixture in another pot and I straight cover the pot. How do I prevent the bubble?

from albert

lilyng said...

albert

i think that your method of pouring hot milk into the coagulant solution caused the texture not being right.

i would suggest you try my way which is easier and guarantee success, just stir the solution into the hot milk

Anonymous said...

i tried with pouring the mixture of gypsum to the hot soya but the end result are still the same? what did i do wrong? i soak the bean with hot water for 5 hours. then i dilute with water and strain then after that i bring the milk to boil and i skim the foam for 3 times then i stir in the gypsum mixture. the taufu fah just have many bubble and the half of the bottom part are so rough looking. the all just look like split with the water. zzit because of the hot water i soak with? or i soak it too long?

from
Albert

lilyng said...

albert

could your problem be in the gypsum powder. did you get a food grade?

soaking with hot water is ok as long as the beans are fully soaked by then. the beans have to be blended to very fine to maximize the protein.

prettypink said...

hi, back to the subject of Pangsar, is it alum aka borax, i am looking for aluminum sulphate ( used in yau char quai / chinese crullers) where to buy in KL????

Anonymous said...

Can I just ask what the taste of the tau fu fah is like when made with citric acid. Will it taste sour?

lilyng said...

prettypink

pangsar aka borax and pak farn is alum.

you can get alum in bake with yen, chang tung or chun yip.

Anonymous said...

Hi lily,

I have tried your pandan chiffon cake and it was a success! Thanks to your blog again. I am so glad you told the exact amount of water to use because I had the hardest time making this silken tofu and it was too watery or the protein and the water separates and settles. I tried your recipe step by step and my tofu came out great. It wasn't much water. I used Gypsum.

I was wondering, you dilute gypsum in warm water but another recipe emphasized the importance of diluting it in cold water. What is the difference in the by product? If i want to make it extra silken, would i decrease the corn starch? Thanks!!

Nina

lilyng said...

nina

i did try with less cornstarch but did not like the softness, the more cornstarch makes it firmer but it is still soft.

Zarina said...

Hi...

You mentioned using nigari as the coagulant. I would like to make this tofu fah and was wondering if u knew how much of nigari (I have it in liquid form) i should use and how do I incorporate it into the soy milk.

Hope you can help! Thanks...

lilyng said...

nina

i am sorry i have not made with nigari before so i cannot tell you how much to use.

if you google, you might get the answer

Anonymous said...

hi, i try to make to fu fah from ur recipe and the texture turn out very great but it has a little sour taste on it. can u tell me wat's wrong? or need special soya bean to make it??
thanx

lilyng said...

anonymous

there is no special soya beans and the only guess why the little sour taste is that you have let the beans ferment alightly while soaking. If you are in the tropics or if you used hot water to soak the beans, then they need a shorter time to be totally soaked.

Anonymous said...

hi lily,

i have enjoyed reading your recipes for the past 2 years. I would like to know whether you have tried the HK steamed milk custard/pudding? do you have the recipes for the different flavours like choc or coffee?

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

you are mentioned about 1/2 cup of water, what do you mean by 1/2 cup (How much c.c) .

Looking forward for your early reply.

lilyng said...

anonymous

i cup is 240 - 250 ml or cc so 1/2 cup = 120 - 125 ml/cc

Pete said...

Ah, tau fu fah....all time favourite dessert!

Anonymous said...

To the Lewisville, Tx reader, gupsum can be found at the asian supermarket in Plano. However, supply is limited and they sell out fast. It is on the same shelf as borax.

Anonymous said...

I think the main cause of all of the errors in the use of the cornstarch. I used 2 slightly heaping tablespoons of the cornstarch it rocked my world. I wouldn't change the amount of gypsum used though.

lilyng said...

anonymous

i totally agree with you. incidently i made tofu fah on saturday and again on sunday - now i get a comment on tofu fah

Elaine said...

Hi LIly

I just tried with your recipe and failed. My soya milk separated into 2 layers the moment I put in the coagulant.

Not sure why...

lilyng said...

elaine

i am not sure why too. it could be too much coagulant cos like making tofu, more coagulant is used and it will curdle fast.

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