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Stuffed Tofu

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Cubes of tofu stuffed with a light and savory pork filling. This dish is steamed and served with a soy sauce-based sauce. Onolicious!

Stuffed tofu, plated and ready to eat
Stuffed tofu, ready to eat

Stuffed Tofu

You might have had different versions of stuffed tofu in Chinese restaurants before. This is the version we make at home. It's simple, clean, and very fun to prepare!

This dish features cubes of tofu stuffed with a savory pork filling. It's steamed and finished with a delicious sauce made from the liquid that's naturally released when you steam the tofu.

This dish consists of three parts:

  • Tofu
  • Filling
  • Sauce

Let's take a closer look at each part...

Stuffed Tofu, plated and right before we put it in the steamer
Tofu, stuffed and ready to be steamed.

Tofu

We love tofu in Hawaii and tofu is featured in many recipes on Onolicious (check out our recipes for Tofu Poke, Goya Champuru, Avocado Tofu, Chicken Tofu, and Hot Sesame Oil Tofu).

If you visit Hawaii, you might want to check out Aloha Tofu Factory which is a very popular local tofu factory. I also love getting fresh soy milk from them.

I noticed that boxes of local tofu in Hawaii come in 20 ounce servings. But on the mainland they range from 14 to 16 ounces. All these sizes will work for this recipe, you'll just have slightly larger or smaller pieces of tofu. No need to adjust the filling amounts.

1 block of tofu, cut into 8 even pieces (like rectangular cubes)
1 block of tofu, cut into 8 even pieces.

To prepare the tofu, cut the tofu block in half horizontally. Then cut each half into four even blocks. They're like rectangular cubes ^_^

Scoop out 1-2 teaspoons of tofu from each piece of tofu
Scoop out 1-2 teaspoons of tofu from each piece.

Lay each cube on a cutting board and use a small spoon (I use a little dessert spoon) to scoop out about 1-2 teaspoons (depends on how big your tofu block is) of tofu.

Note: save this "leftover tofu" that you scoop out because we are going to use it for the pork filling. Nothing goes to waste.

Scoop it big enough so that you can fill it with the ground pork filling. But don't scoop so big that you break the edges or can see the bottom of the tofu.

Stuff the tofu with the pork filling.
Stuff the tofu with the pork filling.

Then fill each tofu brick with the filling. Mound the excess filling over the surface of the tofu...kind of like a mushroom cap.

Pork filling for the tofu (ground pork, tofu, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper)
Pork filling (ground pork, tofu, ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper).

Filling

The filling costs of 8 (good luck number!) basic ingredients:

  • Ground pork
  • Tofu - Use the "leftover tofu" you have from scooping out each piece.
  • Ginger, minced
  • Garlic, minced
  • Oyster sauce - Look for the Lee Kum Kee Premium oyster sauce.
  • Soy sauce - We use both the Aloha and Kikkoman brand soy sauce in Hawaii. Either will work, and you can also use low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Sesame oil - Kadoya is our go-to brand.
  • White pepper - This is optional, but makes a beautiful difference. We use white pepper in many recipes, so it's worth keeping a bottle in the pantry.

Just mix all the above ingredients together in a bowl. Split the filling up into 8 portions, and stuff each tofu piece with the filling.

Tofu stuffed with a savory pork filling
The sauce is key ^_^

Sauce

The sauce is a key part of this dish. After you steam the stuffed tofu, there will be some liquid (about a few tablespoons) left in the dish.

Remove the tofu pieces to a serving plate. Pour the leftover liquid into a small saucepan. This liquid will become the base of your sauce.

Bring that liquid to a boil, then turn the heat to low and add equal amounts of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. (This is the same "trio" of ingredients that we used to season the ground pork filling.)

Next, make a cornstarch slurry. Combine cornstarch and spoonful water, mix to dissolve the cornstarch. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the liquid and cook for another minute. This cornstarch slurry will help to thicken the sauce.

Use less cornstarch slurry for a thinner sauce, and more cornstarch slurry for a thicker sauce. How thick or thick you make the sauce is entirely up to you. For this dish, I like it on the lighter, thinner side (but many people love it as a thick gravy). Pour the sauce over the tofu and it's ready to eat!

Stuffed tofu, plated and ready to eat
Stuffed tofu, ready to eat

Tips and Questions

How long will leftovers keep?

This dish best straight from the steamer, but leftovers will keep up to 3 days.

How to reheat this dish?

Microwave for 20-30 seconds. Or steam for 6-8 minutes.

Got fish sauce?

Add a splash of fish sauce to the pork filling mixture. It will give this dish extra depth and flavor.

Got extra time?

Some people like to either deep fry or pan fry the tofu pieces before stuffing and steaming. The crispy exterior will make for a different, delicious dish.

Not into pork?

Feel free to replace the ground pork with ground chicken and/or minced shrimp. (If you are into pork, you can also do half-pork and half-shrimp for this recipe.)

Other filling combinations?

The filling for this recipe is really just a dumpling or wonton filling, so feel free to use any favorite dumpling or wonton recipe you might already have. You can also use the Pork Hash recipe (Hawaii's version of Chinese shumai) for the filling.

Stuffed Tofu Recipe

See below and enjoy ^_^

Stuffed tofu, plated and ready to eat

Stuffed Tofu

Yield: 8 pieces stuffed tofu
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Cubes of tofu are stuffed with a light and savory pork filling. This dish is steamed and served with a wonderful soy sauce mixture. It's onolicious ^_^

Instructions

    1. Prepare the tofu. Cut the block of tofu into 8 even pieces (I cut it in half horizontally, and then cut each half into 4 pieces.) Use a small spoon to scoop out about 2 teaspoons of tofu from each piece. This is so that we can stuff the tofu with the pork filling.
    2. Prepare the filling. Mix together in a bowl: ground pork, leftover tofu (the tofu that you just scooped out), ginger, garlic, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and white pepper.
    3. Divide the filling into 8 portions and stuff each piece of tofu with the filling, mounding the excess filling over the top of the tofu piece.
    4. Steam for 10 minutes.
    5. Remove the steamed tofu to a plate. Pour the liquid left in the steaming dish into a small pan (there should be a few tablespoons of liquid). Bring the liquid to a gentle boil. Turn the heat to low and add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil.
    6. Mix the cornstarch with a spoonful of cold water, then add that into the saucepan (cornstarch will help thicken the sauce a bit). Cook for a minute more and then pour the sauce over the plated tofu. Eat hot and enjoy ^_^
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Mahalo for Reading!

Karen

Monday 28th of September 2020

Kathy, Thanks for the info! Not allowed dumpling wrappers either! Karen

Kathy

Monday 28th of September 2020

Hi Karen! Ahh then can form bite sized meatballs and steam (or make little patties pan fry them :) - Kathy

Karen

Monday 28th of September 2020

Kathy,

Oh, how I love your recipes! and the pictures! so nice!

I can't eat tofu :-(((. I am concerned that if I make the meatballs without the tofu that they will be too dense. Is there something I can substitute? Egg Whites? I thought of breadcrumbs, but again, too dense. Thank you, Karen

Kathy

Monday 28th of September 2020

Hi Karen! You can make the meat filling (replace the tofu with chopped water chestnuts or shrimp). And instead of steaming the filling in the tofu squares, get dumpling wrappers and wrap them around the filling. They'll end up looking similar to our Pork Hash recipe. Enjoy ^_^ - Kathy

Alan

Monday 14th of September 2020

Hi Kathy: Yes, stuffed tofu is a local favorite. In the old days, whenever I went to eat Cantonese food with my family, we would always order stuffed tofu. We all loved it. Nowadays, I don't order it much, even when I can find it. My haole wife likes tofu (go figure) but not stuffed tofu (go figure again!). So when we go out to eat Cantonese food, I have to order a dish with fried tofu in it -- like chicken and vegetables and fried tofu. Or, alternatively, she likes deep fried tofu. At home, I just take a block of firm tofu, cut it into four pieces and leave it in a colander in the fridge to get rid of the excess water. Then I just salt the pieces and fry them in the pan. She likes that too.

I love your posts. Your food pics always make me drool!

Kathy

Monday 14th of September 2020

Thank you, Alan! I love tofu in all forms...deep fried really is such a treat though. I don't deep fry too often at home, so when I'm out at Cantonese restaurant, deep fried tofu (ideally stuffed and braised, oh man) is definitely on our "to order" list :) - Kathy

Liv

Sunday 13th of September 2020

I love mine fried with fermented bean sauce ;p

Kathy

Monday 14th of September 2020

Hi Liv! Oh man, yes!! You got me craving that now :) - Kathy