Melt-in-mouth douhua can be super comforting when served as breakfast. Learn how to make tofu pudding with GDL(葡萄糖内脂 at home.
Douhua is also known as Tofu pudding or douhua, sometimes also known as Tao Fu Hua (豆腐脑 or 豆腐花) is the most controversial food in China. It is quite neutral and can be matched both with sweet tastes and savory tastes. For me, it can be matched with everything. We get so many options and people have totally different ideas about how to turn their tofu pudding into something extremely delicious for their special stomach. Let's learn how to make a perfect tofu pudding at home with GDL and then start the journey of shaping your best options.
Douhua can be either served as a sweet dessert or a savory snack. The two versions are included in this post.
However, douhua in the Sichuan area has a different name. The Sichuan-style douhua is a slightly pressed version usually made with Gypsum and served with a hot dipping sauce.
The savory version: in Northern China, a gravy (in Chinese, we call this "打卤")including wood ear mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots (in spring), and eggs are used to give it a savory taste. However, the situation is totally different in Southern China.
The sweet version: In Guangdong, the syrup is used to load the tofu pudding with a sweet taste and stimulate the original flavors and aroma of soybeans. In other milled provinces including Hubei and Wuhan, they mix tofu pudding directly with sugar. Simple and quick.
The hot version: Another totally different version, a very unique one is from Sichuan province. We call doufunao (豆腐脑) where tofu pudding is seasoned with chili oil and lots of other aromatics. In the Sichuan area, this spicy tofu pudding is always sold along with Sichuan-style cold noodles in summer or dan noodles in winter. This is a very special version. For all Sichuan food lovers, this is a must trying dish.
In the making of this video, my husband and I had quite an argument - he was adamant that only sweet versions should be included. But with your patience, we can make sure you get all the info necessary to craft a version perfect for you!
About the coagulant
Soybeans, water, and coagulant are all we need to make silky tofu pudding at home. Soy milk can coagulate with the help of an alkaline substance (Gypsum Powder 石膏粉) or acidic material (vinegar or lemon juice). There are actually also several other options working as coagulant agents for example Agar Agar powder (similar to Gelation powder). Agar Agar powder is mainly used for almond tofu in China. Now there is a new version using GDL(葡萄糖内脂). It helps to create a very soft and tender tofu pudding compared with vinegar and traditional Gypsum.
How long to boil the soy milk?
Soy milk should be boiled for a minimum of 15 minutes. Uncooked soy milk is harmful to our health. But watch out for the fire carefully, it overflows quickly.
- No thermometer by hand, let the soy milk cool down for about 2-3 minutes. The temperature should be in the right range.
- Do not move the soy milk after the GDL is added. On cold winter days, cover the pot to remain the temperature.
- You can add your favorite ingredients to douhua. Look forward to your creations.
- Wash the soybeans and then soak the soybeans overnight until softened. Transfer to a blender and add water. Blend until very smooth.
- Whisk GDL with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bow.
- Place gauze on a strainer and then strain the soy milk. Bring the soy milk to a boil. Watch carefully since it overflows easily. Skin off the bubbles on the surface. Remove from heat and rest for 2 minutes until the temperature drops around 80 degrees C to 90 degrees C.
- Gently stir the GDL water in the soy milk. Then rest for 15 to 20 minutes until firm.
Douhua -Tofu Pudding
- 1 cup soy beans
- 1500 ml water
- 3 g GDL , around 1 tablespoon (no sweeping)
- sugar to taste
Brown sugar syrup
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 thumb piece ginger , peeled and shredded
Sichuan hot Style for each serving
- 1 tsp. chili oil
- 1 tsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. chopped Zhai Cai
- 1 tbsp. ginger and garlic water
- chopped scallion and coriander to taste
- 1 tbsp. cooking oil
- 50g pork belly
- 1 thumb ginger , cut into small shreds
- 1 clove garlic , shredded
- 10 hydrated wood ear mushroom , cut into small shreds
- 2 fresh shiitake mushroom , cut into slices
- 4 oyster mushrooms , thinly sliced and then shredded
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch , whisked with 2 tablespoons of water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- salt if necessary , note 1
How to make tofu pudding| Tao Fu Hua
- Wash the soy beans and then soak the soy beans overnight until softened. Transfer to a blender and add water. Blend until very smooth.
- Place a gauze on a strainer and then strain the soy milk. Bring the soy milk to a boil. Watch carefully since it overflows easily. Skin off the bubbles on the surface. Remove from heat and rest for 2 minutes until the temperature drops around 80 degree C to 90 degree C.
- Whisk GDL with water in a small bowl (read the instructions on the package for the detailed amount). Gently stir the GDL water in the soy milk. Then rest for 15 to 20 minutes until firms.
How to serve| Sweet version
- Option 1: Serve with white sugar directly
- Option 2: Simmer brown sugar with ginger slices for 5 minutes and drizzle the syrup with tofu pudding.
How to serve |Northern Version
- Add some oil in pan and fry pork belly until slightly browned. Add wood ear mushroom, oyster mushroom and shiitake mushroom. Fry until soft.
- Add around 2 cups of water, soy sauce (dark soy sauce and light soy sauce). Place cornstarch water in and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until the sauce is almost thickened.
- Drizzle egg liquid in. Continue cooking until well combined. Add salt if necessary. Top the gravy with tofu pudding.
How to serve |Sichuan Style
- To make ginger and garlic water | add ½ cup hot water into 1 tablespoon of minced ginger and 1 tablespoon of minced garlic. Set until cool down.
- Fry soaked soy beans with cold oil until golden brown. You can simply replace this with toasted peanuts or other crispy nuts.
- How to assemble| add chopped Zha Cai, light soy sauce, chili oil, garlic ginger water, spring onion and coriander. Serve hot.