Douhua is a Chinese dish made from soft tofu. Though it is described as a pudding, it is made using pieces of soft silken tofu in a sweet spiced broth. The broth is made with water, a mixture of sugar and fresh ginger which are simmered together. The warm broth is poured over the tofu which can be homemade or store-bought. Douhua can be eaten warm or cold.
There are also savory and spicy versions of douhua. Savory versions are often made using soy sauce or gravy and various other ingredients such as meat, shrimp and mushrooms. Hot peppers and chilli oil are used for the spicy version.
Douhua is also known as Dou fu hua, tofu pudding, soybean pudding or doufanao which means tofu brains, referring to its delicate texture. It can easily be made from scratch instead of using storebought tofu.
Traditional tofu is made using soy milk which is curdled then pressed into the blocks as they are often sold in grocery stores. Instant tofu for douhua can be made by adding a coagulant to the soymilk and letting it set – no pressing required. Douhua is also enjoyed in other Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Tofu is said to have originated during the Han Dynasty 206 BC-220 AD when a descendent of Liu Bang also known as Emperor Gaozu of Han, who was obsessed with immortality set out to create an immortality elixir. Instead, by mixing soybean milk with gypsum – a sulfate mineral, accidentally created tofu.
Chinese Douhua Recipe
- Unsweetened Soy milk – 4 cups
- Sugar – 3 tbsp
- Gelatin – 1 tbsp
- Water – 2 cups
- Brown sugar – 1 cup
- Ginger slices – 3
- Pour a cup of soy milk into a saucepan, then add 3 tablespoons of sugar.
- Next, add 1 tablespoon of gelatin and mix it fast and well.
- Cook over medium to low flame until it’s bubbling.
- Keep stirring it. (Remember don’t add gelatin when the soy milk is warm or hot because it comes together very fast and has lumps.)
- Pour 3 cups of soy milk into a big bowl.
- Pour the mixture from the saucepan into the soy milk in the big bowl.
- Mix them well.
- Use a spoon or a fine strainer to remove extra bubbles on the top and cover with a plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 6 hours to overnight.
- Put 2 cups of water, 1 cup of brown sugar and 3 slices of ginger into a saucepan.
- Mix it well and turn on the fire medium to low until it’s boiling.
- Set it aside and let it cool down.
- When the tofu pudding is ready, use a spoon to scoop it into a bowl.
- After, pour some syrup over the tofu pudding when it’s ready to serve.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 4g