Silken tofu with soybeans and chilli

Silken tofu with soybeans and chili
Silken tofu with soybeans and chili Photo: MARINA OLIPHANT

This recipe can play out any number of ways - drown steamed tofu in your favourite Asian sauce, throw some chilli and pickles at it, and you're done.


1 small Lebanese cucumber, unpeeled

1 tbsp white sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 x 300g packs silken tofu, drained

200g frozen soybeans (edamame)*

1 tbsp olive oil

200ml vegetable or chicken stock

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp hoisin or plum sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp cornflour

1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

2 green onions, finely sliced

1 mild red chilli, finely sliced

*Frozen soybeans are available in Japanese stores, or substitute with broad beans.


Cut cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop out and discard seeds then cut in one-centimetre slices. Mix sugar, salt and rice vinegar in a bowl, add cucumber and leave for 20 minutes, then drain. Steam tofu over simmering water until hot.

Cook soybeans in simmering salted water for three minutes, drain and toss with olive oil. For sauce, heat stock in a small pan and add oyster, hoisin and soy sauces and simmer for two minutes.

Mix cornflour and rice wine to a paste, add to sauce and bring to the boil, stirring, until sauce thickens. Drain tofu and carefully transfer to a warm serving plate. Spoon over sauce, top with pickled cucumber and scatter with soy beans, spring onions and chilli.