Try this Tau Foo Fah recipe! Also known as Douhua (豆花) in mandarin, is a Chinese sweet or savoury dessert made with silken smooth tofu. This classic dessert can be served with a clear sweet ginger sugar syrup or palm sugar syrup (Gula Melaka Syrup), whichever option you prefer. Tastes great served warm or chilled. Super easy to make this at home too. So, let’s start cooking!
Watch How To Make Tau Foo Fah (Douhua / Soybean Pudding) 豆腐花 – Recipe Video
Making Homemade Tau Foo Fah Is Easier Than You Think
Tau Foo Fah (豆腐花) is a traditional and popular local dessert favoured by many people from all walks of lives. This soft beancurd dessert is very healthy and can be served in a sweet or savoury form. The mere thought of Tau Foo Fah brings back fond childhood memories for many when one tucks in to the silken tofu dessert served in small round bowls. Tau Foo Fah is traditionally served with plain ginger sugar syrup, brown sugar or palm sugar syrup.
Tau Foo Fah can be easily bought and is usually sold together with soybean milk at stalls markets or shops. However, if you suddenly crave for a nice warm bowl of soybean milk pudding, you can also made this simple dessert at home. You will be pleasantly surprised to know how easy it is to have homemade tau foo fah at home. So let’s get started.
What is Tau Foo Fah?
Tau Foo Fah, otherwise known as Douhua (豆花) in mandarin, is a Chinese sweet or savoury dessert made with very tender silken tofu. It is usually served with a clear sweet ginger sugar syrup and sometimes brown or palm sugar syrup (Gula Melaka Syrup). This dessert is usually eaten warm or chilled.
Tau Foo Fah is made by coagulating boiling hot unsweetened soymilk with a coagulant to form the soft and velvety pudding. In this recipe Glucono delta-lactone (GDL) is used as the coagulant.
What is Coagulant?
Coagulant is an organic substance that cause curdling of a liquid. Tau Foo Fah is made by coagulating soy milk with a setting agent which acts as a coagulant. Examples of some coagulant used to make Tau Foo Fah are gypsum (calcium sulphate) and gelatin powder.
In this recipe, Glucono delta-lactone (GDL), also known as gluconolactone, is used as the coagulant to curdle soymilk to form this tofu pudding. GDL acts as a commonly used tofu coagulant. It is produced by the oxidation of gluconic acid. It is easily purchased in the Asian grocery stores.
Glucono delta-lactone (GDL) is a weak acid with sour taste when dissolved in water. It acts to solidify protein in soy milk, to make the perfect Tau Foo Fah with a smooth and jelly-like texture. Homemade soybean milk is recommended when making soybean pudding as the thickness of soy milk affects the coagulation and store bought soy milk is usually more diluted. Hence the soy milk must not be too diluted to make Tau Foo Fah.
Ingredients Needed To Make Tau Foo Fah
Ingredients (Soy Bean Milk)
- Soya Bean
- Pandan Leaves
Ingredients (Setting Agent)
- Water (boiled and room temperature)
- Glucono delta-lactone (GDL)
- Vanilla Essence
Ingredients (Ginger Sugar Syrup – See Recipe Here)
- Pandan Leaves
Ingredients (Palm Sugar Syrup – See Recipe Here)
- Palm Sugar
- Pandan Leaves
How to Make Tau Foo Fah – An Overview
Prepare Soy Bean Milk:
- Soak soy beans in water for at least 3 hours. Drain and add water to blend into soy milk.
- Strain soy milk into a large pot using a cheese cloth or coffee filter cloth.
- Boil strained soy milk stirring constantly.
Prepare Setting Agent:
- Add GDL (setting agent) into boiled room temperature water. Stir to dissolve completely.
- Then add cornstarch and a little vanilla essence. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Making Tau Foo Fah:
- Pour simultaneously boiling soy milk and setting agent into a heat resistant pot from a height.
- Immediately cover and set aside undisturbed for 20 minutes for the soymilk to set into Tau Foo Fah.
How To Make Syrup – An Overview
Prepare Ginger Sugar Syrup (See Recipe Here):
- Bring sugar, water, ginger and pandan leaves to a boil. Allow to simmer for a few minutes till syrup is slightly thicken and is infused with the ginger flavour. Then sieve into bowl and cool before serving.
Prepare Palm Sugar Syrup (See Recipe Here):
- Boil crushed palm sugar, water and pandan leaves. Continue to boil on medium heat till the palm sugar is fully dissolved and syrup becomes thicker. Strain into bowl and cool before serving.
How To Serve Tau Foo Fah
- To serve, use a flat and sharp ladle to gently scoop thin layers of Tau Foo Fah into a bowl.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoon syrup over the Tau Foo Fah and serve warm.
Important Recipe Tips To Make Tau Foo Fah
- To make a perfect Tau Foo Fah, the thickness of soy milk used is very important. It should not be too diluted. Otherwise coagulation will not be enough to set the Tau Foo Fah. Hence it is preferred to use homemade soy milk. Store bought soy milk often has additives to improve the taste and it is usually not thick enough to solidify perfectly.
- It is also advised to strain again the soy milk before boiling in the pot so the Tau Foo Fah will be very smooth and velvety.
- When boiling the soy milk, you have to consistently stir the soy milk with a spatula and stir right to the bottom to avoid soy milk being burnt. And the soy milk must be boiling before using to make Tau Foo Fah. After the soy milk has start to boil, lower the heat and continue to boil for another 3 to 5 minutes to rid of the soybean raw smell.
- Use a heat resistant pot to make Tau Foo Fah pudding so the heat can be retained.
- Be sure to stir again to mix thoroughly the setting agent before pouring to ensure the powder do not stick to the bottom of the container.
- Do not add too much setting agent as it will render the Tau Foo Fah a sour or bitter taste.
- Pour boiling soy milk and setting agent simultaneously from a height into a heat resistance pot. This action will make all the ingredients mix together thoroughly and nicely. Do not stir the mixture. Immediately close the lid to retain the heat and set aside for about 20 minutes. The soya milk will settle to be smooth and velvety Tau Foo Fah.
- Use a thin and sharp edge ladle to carefully spoon out the Tau Foo Fah. Then you will get very smooth Tau Foo Fah. Before that, be sure to remove the layer of bubbles on the top of the pudding.
Tau Foo Fah (Douhua / Soybean Pudding) 豆腐花
Tap or Hover to Adjust Servings
Ingredients (Soya Bean Milk)
- 300 grams soya bean, soaked for 3 hours
- 12 cups water, 3 litres
- 2 blades pandan leaves, knotted
Ingredients (Setting Agent)
- 120 ml boiled water, cool to room temperature
- ¾ tsp Glucono delta-lactone (GDL)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp vanilla essence, optional
Ingredients (Ginger Sugar Syrup)
- 250 grams sugar
- ½ cup water
- 25 grams ginger, skinned and crushed slightly
Ingredients (Palm Sugar Syrup)
- 300 grams palm sugar, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup water
- 3 blades pandan leaves, knotted
- Have ready all ingredients to make soy bean milk.
- First soak the soybeans in water for at least 3 hours. Then drain away the water and set aside.
- In two batches, put the soaked soybeans into a blender or grinder. Add half the water and blend the soybean with the water until almost smooth.
- Pour the blended soy bean liquid into a cloth coffee filter to sieve out the soybean residue. Squeeze the coffee filter to release more of the soy milk from the residue.
- Continue to do the same with the balance of the soaked soybeans. Put the soybeans in blender and blend with the balance of the water. Filter and strain out the soybean residue. Squeeze to release more of the soy milk.
- Then double strain the soy milk into a large pot. Add in the pandan leaves. Using medium heat, bring the soy milk to a boil, stirring constantly. When the soy milk boils, lower the heat and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes. Then remove pandan leaves and the soy milk is done.
- While the soybean milk is being boiled, we can prepare the setting agent which is used to turn the boiling soybean milk into soybean curd. Have ready the boiled water and add in GDL. Stir to mix well.
- Then add in cornstarch and flavour with vanilla essence. Stir thoroughly to mix everything together. And we are ready to make taufoo fah.
- To make soybean curd (tau foo fah), have ready a heat resistant pot with a lid.
- Then pour simultaneously the setting agent and the boiling soymilk from a height into the pot. (Hold the pot of soymilk higher than the cup of setting agent when pouring). Immediately cover the pot with a lid and do not stir the mixture. Leave aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
- After about 20 minutes, the soymilk will have coagulated and settle to be smooth and yummy taufoo. The surface will have lots of bubbles so use a sharp flat ladle to remove the surface bubbles. Then only scoop up the tau foo fah.
- To serve, use the sharp and flat ladle to gently scoop thin slices of soft and velvety beancurd into bowls. Then top with ginger sugar syrup or palm sugar syrup before serving.
- This delicious silken Tau Foo Fah is usually enjoyed warm and can be quite delicious when served chilled.
Preparing Soy Bean Milk:
Preparing Setting Agent:
Making Tau Foo Fah:
- Be very careful when boiling soy milk to make Tau Foo Fah. When lots of bubbles form, must quickly off the heat. Otherwise it will easily overflow. May not want to cover the pot when boiling soy milk.
- The soy milk you use must be pure. If there are any impurities, the soy milk may not completely solidify. Try to use homemade soy milk so it is not too dilute as soy milk to make Tau Foo Fah need to have a thicker consistency.
- Do not add too much setting agent (coagulant) as it can render the Tau Foo Fah to be sour or bitter. Also make sure the setting agent fully dissolved in the water. Otherwise the soymilk will not coagulate fully.
- Be sure not to stir or move the soymilk in the pot after mixing with the setting agent but to immediately cover to prevent heat from escaping.
- Pouring boiling soy milk and setting agent mixture must be from a height. This will ensure the mixture is mixed thoroughly in the pot.