Fish Tofu- How to Make it at home.

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Have you ever tried to fish tofu? It’s tender, full of flavor, and looks like tofu.

It gets lots of names, such as fish tofu and fish cake. You may have already tried our fish ball recipe if you’re a returning visitor. Those two recipes are pretty similar but with different methods. Fish tofu is steamed and then served directly or pan-fried, while fish balls are always blanched or deep-fried. The name comes from the appearance of tofu blocks. However, fish tofu is tender and juicy inside.

Although fish tofu can be found in supermarkets and Asian grocery stores, making it at home is a funny experience. With today’s recipe, we will make lovely fish tofu at home with just a few steps and a kitchen blender.

What types of fish to use

I am using basa fish as it is cheap, and there is no need to remove the bones. It has a dedicated and mild flavor and can create light, fluffy fish tofu. You can use other fish fillets as long as the bones are removed.

For best results, select the freshest fish possible. This will ensure the fish tofu is firm and bounces back when pressed gently. Make sure the fillets are deboned for a smooth paste.

Remove the raw taste by using aromatics.

Using scallion and ginger to remove the raw taste is a traditional and original cooking tip for Chinese cuisine. It works exceptionally well for fish tofu recipes. I love to use this technique in other fillings, like dumplings and shengjian bao.

You can squeeze the scallion and ginger to ensure the water absorbs the juice from the aromatics.

Make the Fish Paste

I highly recommend adding egg and starch to make the fish paste springy and bounce, just like we did in fish balls. You will also need to ensure they are added in the correct ratio. I love to use lots of black pepper and bring it a robust black pepper flavor.

  • Eggs—One or two, beaten. Eggs add richness and binding. They can also help keep the juice inside the texture. For an even softer and juicer texture, add another extra egg.
  • Starch—Cornstarch, potato, or tapioca starch all work. However, different types of starch may slightly change the texture. Tapioca starch fish tofu can be firmer and chewier than others.

Other Variation Tips

  • Adding a bit of raw shrimp enhances the flavor.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste. You can also add lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, or red curry paste for a Thai twist.
Fish Tofu|
  • 1 lb oz boneless skinless white fish fillets (basa or dragon li), chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1.5 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for greasing
  • Green onions and ginger soaked in water

Prepare the Fish Paste

  • Make a ginger and green onion broth by soak ginger slices and green onion whites in water for 10-15 minutes. Strain and reserve the broth. You can squeeze the scallion and ginger to make sure the flavors are well released.

  • Place the chopped fish in a food processor with the scallion and gigner water. Blend and pause, blend until the fish paste is almost formed.

  • Transfer the fish paste to a large bowl. Add the egg, salt, sugar, white pepper, tapioca starch and soy sauce. Mix thoroughly in one direction until the paste becoems sticky.

Steam the Tofu

  • Lightly grease a loaf pan, ramekins or tofu mold with vegetable oil. Press the fish paste firmly into the pan to remove any air pockets. Smooth the surface.

  • Steam the fish tofu over boiling water for 15 minutes.

  • Remove and let cool completely. Then transfer out and cut into tofu cubes sizes.

Pan-frying to golden brown

  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a thin layer of oil.

  • Fry the fish tofu slices on both sides until golden brown.

  • Serve immediately with rice and vegetables, or enjoy in soups, noodle dishes or on its own. Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for later use.

Calories: 1258kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 96g | Fat: 78g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 18g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 431mg | Sodium: 2764mg | Potassium: 1930mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 318IU | Calcium: 133mg | Iron: 13mg

Storage Tips

  • If you have leftovers, store the fish tofu after the steaming process. In an airtight container and fridge, you can keep the steamed fish tofu for three days.
  • For a longer storage life, freeze the steamed fish tofu for two months. You can use it directly in soups or pan-frying.
  • Pan-fried fish tofu can be stored for 2 or 3 days.

How to use fish tofu

In addition to the pan-frying shown in our recipe, you can use fish tofu in many recipes. The following are some basic ideas.

In Soups and Stews, fish tofu’s texture is perfect for soups. I love to add it to soups with dark green vegetables like bok choy, snow pea leaf, or even hot pot.


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