This article is inspired by a fantastic Chinese tofu recipe which I ordered at a local Chinese restaurant recently. It is a combination of tofu, mushrooms, minced meat, and spinach. It is not only tasty but has the balance nutrition and most of all, quite easy to prepare at home. 

Here is my recipe after making some improvisation, which I cook tonight for dinner. 

The result turned out to be incredible, with the addition of Zha Cai (a Chinese preserve vegetable). It is very delicious with steamed rice, or make it less salty to become a stand-alone dish. 

This recipe is inspired by a fantastic tofu dish which I ordered at a local Chinese restaurant recently. It is a combination of tofu, mushrooms, minced meat, and spinach. I found that it is not only tasty but has the balance nutrition and most of all, quite easy to prepare at home. Here is my recipe after making some improvisation, which I cook tonight for dinner.

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The following is the detail steps to prepare the Chinese tofu recipe with minced meat and mushroom. 

1. Steam the tofu

I am using press tofu, but many types of tofu are suitable for this Chinese tofu recipe. 

There are different ways to serve tofu.  I steamed the tofu in this recipe, but I have seen some restaurants serve it directly from the refrigerator as cold tofu.  

Another way is to deep-fry the tofu until the surface is firmed up to form a layer of ‘skin.’  The tofu will become golden by then, which is a popular way to serve among the Chinese. Check out this Fried Tofu Recipe on this blog, which will give you a totally different way to cook the tofu.

Steam the tofu over boiling water for about five minutes. Place the tofu on the serving plate for a few minutes before serving.  The tofu will release some water. Discard the water to avoid it dilutes the mushroom and meat sauce spreading onto the tofu.

2. Saute the spinach

I never thought of serving tofu with spinach until I tried this Chinese tofu recipe in the nearby restaurant.  It turned out that the flavor and color combination is ideal for serving with tofu.

Clean the spinach thoroughly as it contains mud and sand.  Use only the leaves and drain it with a strainer before use.  

Here are the steps:

  • Heat some oil in the wok.
  • Add a few cloves of garlic and saute until aromatic. Use low to medium heat as garlic tends to burn quickly.
  • Add the washed spinach and saute together with the garlic and season with some salt and sugar. Sugar is useful in cooking spinach as it will counter the slight bitterness of spinach.
  • Keep sauteing until the spinach starts to wilt, which will take a few minutes.  You may need to add a tablespoon of water from time to time if is too dry but still not thoroughly wilted.  The water helps to deliver heat more uniformly to cook the spinach quickly.
  • The spinach will release water from within once it starts to wilt.  Stop adding water by now and turn down the heat to saute until it is dry and soft.
  • Now remove the spinach and place it around the tofu on the serving plate.
This recipe is inspired by a fantastic tofu dish which I ordered at a local Chinese restaurant recently. It is a combination of tofu, mushrooms, minced meat, and spinach. I found that it is not only tasty but has the balance nutrition and most of all, quite easy to prepare at home. Here is my recipe after making some improvisation, which I cook tonight for dinner.

3. Prepare the mushroom and meat sauce

Chicken or pork?

Most of the Chinese prefer to use pork as it contains some fats that make it tastier.  I am using chicken breast meat in this recipe for those who do not eat pork and prefer a healthier alternative. The choice is yours.

Which mushroom is suitable for this recipe?

I am using shimeiji mushroom for this Chinese tofu recipe. You can use other mushrooms for this recipe. Button, portabello, king oyster or shitake mushroom are all appropriate. 

Cut the large mushrooms into smaller pieces so that it can mix into the meat sauce.

If you are using the dried shitake mushroom, make sure to soak it thoroughly until adequately hydrated before use.

Here are the steps:

  • Saute some coarsely chopped garlic in the wok.
  • Once it turns aromatic, add the mincemeat and fry over low heat for a few minutes. Flip and stir from time to time to avoid sticking to the wok surface.  
  • Season with some salt.
  • You may also want to add two tablespoons of finely diced carrot.  The carrot does not contribute much flavor, but it makes the final dish looks more colorful.
  • When the meat starts to turn slightly brown, add the mushroom of your choice. Continue frying until the mushrooms become soft.
  • Add the zha cai (Chinese preserve prickle) if it is available.
  • Add the seasonings- oyster sauce, light soy sauce, ground white pepper, and some additional water.
  • Prepare some cornstarch slurry.  Add bit by bit to the meat sauce and stop adding when it reaches the desired consistency.

Zha Cai

Zha Cai is a preserved vegetable prepared with the mustard cabbage (Brassica juncea) from the Szechuan province, China.

The stem of the mustard is salted, rub with chili paste and allow to ferment. This process is similar to making kimchi in Korea.

It has a different translation in English- Zha cai, tsa tsai, jar choy or any other translation of the similar phonetic pronunciation.

The Chinese cut the zha cai into strips of dices to cook with a variety of dishes. It strong umami is ideal for this Chinese tofu recipe. The amount of salt is quite high, so remember to adjust the overall saltiness of what you cook.

4. Garnish and serve

  • Place the tofu on a plate and surrounded with the spinach.
  • Pour the meat sauce on top of the tofu.
  • Garnish with some chopped scallion and red chilies. Serve.

More Chinese tofu recipe for you:

Here are some popular Asian tofu recipes on this blog which you may be interested:

Mapo tofu – A spicy Szechuan style tofu with mincemeat.

Braised tofu with vegetables – A healthy vegetarian meal that is easy to prepare.

Tofu with minced pork – Similar to this recipe but prepared the deep-fried tofu.

Yield: 2 servings

Chinese tofu recipe (with mushroom and meat sauce)

Chinese tofu recipe (with mushroom and meat sauce)

This recipe is inspired by a fantastic tofu dish which I ordered at a local Chinese restaurant recently. It is a combination of tofu, mushrooms, minced meat, and spinach.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250g tofu

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 100g chicken breast meat (or pork)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp (15g) diced Zha Cai
  • 50g shimeiji mushroom (after removing stem)
  • 1 tsp cornflour (mix with 1 tbsp water)
  • 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper

For the spinach

  • 80g spinach (leaves only, weight after washed and drained)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cooking oil

Garnish

  • Red chili and scallion

Instructions

Tofu:

  1. Steam the tofu over boiling water for about five minutes. Place the tofu on the serving plate for a few minutes. Discard the water release from the tofu.

Spinach:

  1. Add a few cloves of garlic and saute until aromatic. Add the washed spinach and saute together with the garlic. Season with some salt and sugar.
  2. Keep sauteing until the spinach starts to wilt, which will take a few minutes.
  3. Now remove the spinach and place it around the tofu on the serving plate.

Meat and mushroom sauce:

  1. Saute some coarsely chopped garlic in the wok.
  2. Add the mincemeat and season with some salt.
  3. When the meat starts to turn slightly brown, add the mushrooms, diced carrot, zha cai, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, ground white pepper, and some additional water.
  4. Thicken with cornstarch slurry.

To serve:

  1. Place the tofu on a plate and surrounded with the spinach.
  2. Pour the meat sauce on top of the tofu.
  3. Garnish with some chopped scallion and red chilies. Serve.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 668 Total Fat: 44g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 30g Cholesterol: 93mg Sodium: 2481mg Carbohydrates: 23g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 6g Protein: 48g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 7/7/2019

    3 replies to "Chinese tofu recipe with mushroom and meat sauce"

    • KP Kwan

      Hi, this is KP Kwan. I am happy to see you in this comment area, as you have read through my recipe. I am pleased to reply to any questions and comments as soon as possible.

    • happy wheels

      Your chinese tofu looks so delish! I love tofu dishes of any kind and this is really making me hungry!

      • KP Kwan

        So glad to know that you like this recipe. Enjoy!

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