Silken Tofu With Pine Nuts and Pickled Chiles from Meera Sodha’s EAST

This Silken Tofu With Pine Nuts and Pickled Chiles recipe is an exclusive from Meera Sodha’s new cookbook EAST: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing. Click here or on the image below to find out where you can purchase a copy of the book.

Disclaimer: the cookbooks we feature are independently selected by our Best of Vegan editors and are in no way sponsored by the author and/or the publisher. All content is used with permission. 

Meera Sodha (author of Made in India and Fresh India and The Guardian’s vegan columnist) has just released a stunning new cookbook, East. Looking beyond India to East Asia and South East Asia, Meera found incredible inspiration for how to shift vegetables from the side to the center of the plate. This cookbook is a collaboration between Meera and the home cooks and chefs she met on her culinary journey east, and it features 120 vegan and vegetarian recipes from Bangalore to Beijing like Mushroom BaoPumpkin Malai KariSilken Tofu with Pine Nuts and Pickled Chiles, Brussels Sprout Nasi Goreng and Salted Miso Brownies.


EAST by Meera Sodha book cover
(Click on the image above to order your copy)



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Vegan Silken Tofu with Pine Nuts and Pickled Chiles

Silken Tofu With Pine Nuts and Pickled Chiles


Silken tofu is so named because it is passed through silk and is the most delicate of all the tofus both in flavor and texture. This recipe is loosely based on a memorable encounter I had with a silken tofu dish at a restaurant called My Neighbours the Dumplings in east London. The fragility of the tofu contrasted wonderfully with a brute of a dressing: hot and sour with pickled chiles, salty with soy, and crunchy with toasted pine nuts. 


  • 14 oz silken tofu 
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar 
  • 1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp agave syrup
  • ½ tbsp canola oil 
  • 2 green onions, green part only, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 2 pickled chile peppers, finely sliced 
  • ¼ cup finely sliced cilantro


  1. Remove the tofu from its packaging, put on a plate, and leave for 10 minutes or so, then tip the water away. Place the drained tofu on a nice serving plate with a lip, as things are about to get saucy. 
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, agave syrup, and 2 tablespoons of hot water. Whisk with a fork to mix. 
  3. Put the canola oil into a pan over a high heat and, when hot, add the green onions, pine nuts, and pickled chile peppers. Fry for 2 minutes, stirring every now and then, being very careful not to burn the mixture. 
  4. Very carefully (as it may spit), tip the hot pine nuts into the sesame oil mixture along with the cilantro. Mix well, then pour over the tofu and serve.


Buy fresh silken tofu if you can, but if you can only find shelf-stable tofu, make sure you cut carefully along the edges of the carton and open the pack gently so as not to break it up. Pickled chiles can be bought in jars from most supermarkets. Yours may be green, rather than red as in the picture.

Excerpted from EAST by Meera Sodha. Copyright © 2020 by Meera Sodha. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by David Loftus.


Vegan Silken Tofu with Pine Nuts and Pickled Chiles



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