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Rice & Noodles



Cooking Time



2 Servings

Zhai Choy with Fermented Tofu


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My grandma cooks this vegetarian dish on the first day of Chinese New Year.

According to Chinese beliefs, eating vegetarian dishes on the first day of Chinese New Year enhances longevity. I looked forward to the vegetarian dish which my grandma never fails to prepare for us when we visit during this festive season. I actually long for it as it tastes exceptionally good besides being a healthy dish. Needless to say, it has become my favourite vegetarian dish. The core taste of this dish comes from the fermented tofu and is one ingredient that you cannot omit. It is not easily substituted as the taste is rather unique. Without the fermented tofu, this dish will end up as any other stir fry dish. Try to get most of the ingredients but it is totally fine if you miss one or two of them. Just a reminder, the shiitake mushrooms have to be soaked in water for at least four hours to ensure it is soft and tender.

  Zhai Choy mit fermentiertem Tofu ist auch auf deutsch verfügbar.



  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 4 cubes red tofu (fermented)
  • 1.5 tablespoons sugar
  • salt
  • water


  • 3 Chinese cabbage leaves
  • 3 black fungus (mu-er mushrooms)
  • 3 shiitake mushrooms
  • 20-30 lily buds (dried)
  • glass noodles
  • 1 carrots
  • 2 dried bean curds

Steps to Prepare

  1. Fry dried bean curd pieces in oil until golden brown and crispy.
  2. Soften fried bean curd pieces in a bowl of water.
  3. Pour oil away and using the same pan, lightly fry chopped garlic until fragrant at low heat.
  4. Soften fermented tofu with fork and add to the pan.
  5. Add water and allow it to boil. Water must be enough to cover all the ingredients.
  6. Once gravy boils, add shiitake mushrooms, black fungus, dried lily buds and dried bean curd pieces (broken into smaller pieces).
  7. Add black soy sauce.
  8. Once gravy boils again, add carrots, glass noodles and chinese cabbage.
  9. Add sugar to taste.
  10. Add salt or another cube of fermented tofu.
  11. Let the dish simmer until all ingredients soften.

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