Taiwanese Three Cup Tofu


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Taiwanese Three Cup Tofu



Vegan Tofu “Chicken”:

  • 1 package (396 g) medium-firm tofu, frozen and thawed

Wet Batter

  • ½  cup flour
  • ½  cup oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Seasoning Flour

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • ½  teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Three Cup Sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 bunch basil, leaves only


  1. Today we’re working with Medium-Firm Tofu that has been frozen, completely thawed, frozen again, and completely thawed again.* Press the tofu (for at least 15 minutes) either with a tofu press or a heavy object to squeeze out extra liquid. Be careful not to press too hard as the tofu is very brittle at this stage.
  2. Using your fingers, gently pull apart the tofu into nugget-sized pieces. Set them aside.
  3. Prepare the wet batter. Simply combine all the dry ingredients, add the non-dairy milk, and give it a good whisk. Make sure that the batter is well combined and that there are little to no lumps. Prepare the seasoning flour by mixing all the ingredients as well.
  4. To batter the tofu pieces, dip them first into the wet batter, then into the seasoning flour. Pack the flour in very well!
  5. Now onto the frying process — heat up a good amount of vegetable oil until around 180 degrees C (or use the chopstick test*). Remember to prepare a sheet pan lined with paper towel before frying. Once everything is ready, fry the tofu pieces until both each piece is entirely golden-brown. When the tofu is done, take them out of the oil to drain on the paper towel.
  6. In a small-medium sized pan, heat up the sesame oil on medium heat and fry the garlic & ginger until aromatic, around 1-2 minutes. Then, add the brown sugar, soy sauce, and rice wine and reduce until the sauce has a coating consistency.
  7. Add the fried tofu back into the pan and coat them completely with the three cup sauce. Finally, take off the heat and add the basil leaves to wilt them in the residual heat.


This freeze-thaw technique traps creates pockets and tears within the tofu, making its texture resemble chicken.

The “chopstick test”: If a wooden chopstick starts to bubble immediately when you place it in the oil, then the oil is hot enough for frying.

Find more of George’s recipes on @chez.jorge.



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