Sweet Tofu Pudding (Doufu Hua/豆腐花)
Chinese doufu hua (tofu hua or taufu fa) or sweet tofu pudding recipe. Learn the step-by-step for making sweet tofu pudding at home.
6 cups homemade soy milk
2 teaspoons gypsum
2 teaspoons cornstarch or potato starch
1/3 cup water
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and pounded
8 oz rock sugar
1 cup water
1 screwpine (pandan) leaf, knotted
In a bowl, mix together the gypsum, starch and water. Stir to combine well.
Bring the soy milk to boil. As soon as it boils, skim off the foam/bubbles. Turn off the heat.
Stir the gypsum mixture and add to a wide pot. Pour the soy milk into the pot, at about 1 foot above the pot. This will make sure that the gypsum mixture distributes well in the soy milk. DO NOT STIR.
Cover the pot with a kitchen towel and then with the lid. Let the tofu pudding set, for about 1 hour.
To serve, use a shallow ladle to scrape some of the tofu pudding into a serving bowl. Add some syrup and serve immediately.
After I published the “How to Make Soy Milk” post, many readers asked me to share the Chinese sweet tofu pudding or doufu hua (豆腐花) recipe. I will be honest, I have never made doufu hua before, as I always think of it as something very hard to do, tedious and mostly fail-prone. Oh boy, was I wrong? Now that I have made my own homemade tofu pudding, it just dawns to me why have I waited so long to try something that is so easy—and rewarding—to make!
I grew up eating a lot of doufu hua, which is a very common and popular sweet dessert in Penang, Malaysia. Walk down any streets or markets, one can always find soy milk hawkers (street vendors) selling both soy milk and doufu hua, freshly made each day. There are also hawkers who cycle their mobile stall or cart around the neighborhood, hawking “doufu hua” loudly as they peddle down the street. Both soy milk and doufu hua are excellent for the scorching hot and humid weather back home. They are my absolute favorite.
Making it at home for the first time, I did face some challenges. I consulted my friend Andrea Nguyen, author of Asian Tofu, who gave me precious tips and tricks to make the best tofu pudding at home. Her pointers are extremely useful, and they can be found at the Cook’s Notes section in the recipe. Simply put, to make really good tofu pudding at home, you need a good master soy milk, which is a richer soy milk. According to Andrea, store-bought soy milk is usually thinner compared to homemade soy milk, and not the best for tofu pudding. So if you want to make the best doufu hua, you have to make soy milk. The recipe and step-by-step is here.
Next, you will need a coagulant. I use gypsum (石膏), which is used by the Chinese to make tofu. You can buy it online here. To make sweet tofu pudding (Doufu Hua/豆腐花), you also need syrup to serve with it. I like ginger and rock sugar syrup but I personally prefer gula melaka (Malaysian palm sugar), as pictured above.
Many people have questions about the choices of coagulant. Please read this resourceful guide “Tofu Coagulant Guide: What to Buy and Where to Find It” by Andrea Nguyen. If you love tofu, you have to pick up her cookbook Asian Tofu.
Chinese sweet tofu pudding is best served the same day it’s made, so make a big batch and share it with friends and family. Enjoy!