Tofu Pudding, Doufu Hua (tofu fa in Cantonese) is a traditional Chinese dessert made with fresh soy milk, GDL powder (石膏粉), and brown sugar syrup which has a silky texture and is very delicious. Hua in Chinese literally means flower. The recipe is super simple and easy to follow, which makes it perfect for the home cook.
This light dessert is popular in China and other Asian countries, and many people have this for breakfast. It is easy to find tofu pudding from street vendors, especially during the hot summer season.
Tofu pudding has a soft texture that melts in your mouth and is also known as tofu brains(豆腐脑). The recipe changed over time and now there are many different types of tofu puddings. The flavor varies based on the region of China. The flavor is saltier in northern China, and sweeter in southern China.
Homemade soy milk: Store-bought soy milk also works fine, you can get it in local Asian grocery stores. I will go with organic sugar-free soy milk, which is the only thing close enough to homemade soy milk.
Glucono delta lactone (Gypsum powder 石膏粉, GDL powder): Food-grade Gypsum Powder is used to make tofu or tofu pudding.
Ginger slices: This is the common ingredient used to add a spicy kick to the syrup. I put ginger slices in the blender and then pour the ginger juice into the brown sugar mixture, this way, I can get more ginger flavor. (optional) You can also boil the ginger slices with the brown sugar mixture together. The texture of this dessert varies depending on how much syrup you use and how long you let it soak.
Dark brown sugar: I always prefer dark brown sugar in my kitchen, I find that it has a richer flavor than light brown sugar. You can always use your favorite sweeteners.
This recipe makes about 4-6 servings of pudding so feel free to double or triple it if you want more servings!
How to Make Tofu Pudding
There are different coagulants to make tofu pudding, such as using GDL powder, agar agar powder, or gelatin. After I made it many times, I found the GDL powder provided the best result, with the softest consistency. The process of making tofu Hua is simple and easy. You can make it sweet or savory, depending on your taste.
Start by soaking the soy beans overnight. Rinse them with running water and transfer them to a blender. Add water and blend to the desired texture. I suggest a ratio of 1 cup of dried soybean to 10 cups of water. Adjust the amount of water if you prefer a thicker texture.
In a small bowl, strain the soy milk with cotton cheesecloth and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Remove the bubbles from the surface.
You can make homemade soy milk ahead of time to save time. Mix 1 tablespoon of CDL powder with one tablespoon of water, then very slowly pour it into the soy milk. Let it rest for 30 minutes and do not stir. It is ready when the tofu pudding has become firm. Lastly, add the sweet syrup to the tofu pudding, enjoy!
You can also add different toppings to your tofu pudding for extra flavors such as sweet red beans, fruits, or nuts!
Health Benefits of Tofu
Tofu is a type of soybean product, which is made from soybeans that are soaked, ground, filtered, and coagulated by a curdling agent (usually gypsum). Tofu has many health benefits such as high protein content, low calories, calcium, and iron. Besides these nutrients, tofu also contains good bacteria that can improve digestion and promote good gut health.
If you decide to use homemade soy milk, you can make it ahead of time to save time.
Make sure to drain the soy milk through a cotton cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer before blending it, so that there are no lumps in your tofu pudding.
The best way to enjoy Chinese sweet tofu pudding is to eat it as soon as it is made at room temperature. Although I don't recommend freezing it, you might be able to keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours. Storing any longer will have a major impact on the flavor.
This sweet tofu pudding is becoming more and more popular in recent years. It is a perfect vegan dessert. From a nutrition perspective, tofu is an excellent source of protein. Try it and I promise that you will fall in love with this classic Chinese dessert, you may be surprised by how smooth this tofu pudding is! Let me know what you think about it by leaving comments below. Happy cooking!
Chinese Tofu Pudding-Doufu Hua
- 4 cups of homemade soy milk
- 1 tablespoon of GDL powder
- 1 cup of dark brown sugar
- 1 cup of hot water
- ½ tablespoon fresh ginger juice optional
- To make homemade soy milk: Soak the soy beans overnight. Rinse it with running water and transfer it to a blender. Add water and blend to the desired texture. I suggest a ratio of 1 cup of dried soybean to 10 cups of water. Adjust the amount of water if you prefer a thicker texture.
- In a small bowl, strain the soy milk with cotton cheesecloth and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Remove the bubbles from the surface. You can make homemade soy milk ahead of time to save time.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of GDL powder with one tablespoon of water, then very slowly pour it into the soy milk. Let it rest for 30 minutes and do not stir. It is ready when the tofu pudding is firm up.
- Put ginger slices in the blender and then pour the ginger juice into the brown sugar mixture. (optional). Lastly, add the brown sugar syrup to the tofu pudding, enjoy!