Red-Cooked Tofu

This may be served as a main dish with rice or used in a dim sum dish.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 25 minutesTotal: 1 hour 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • 1 lb. firm tofu
  • ½ cup peanut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped garlic
  • 8 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1" lengths on a slant
  • 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Xiaoshing wine
  • 1 Tbsp. Chinese rock sugar, crushed
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cup vegetable stock


  • Press the tofu for 1 hour to expel excess water by wrapping in cheese cloth and weighing down with a heavy pan. Cut into 1" cubes. Preheat a wok over high heat and pour in the oil. Test to see when the oil has heated through by sticking the tip of a chopstick in it. Bubbles will form around the chopstick when it is hot. Fry the tofu in the oil until it is golden brown on all sides. Remove the tofu and drain on paper towels.
  • Discard all but 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir-fry the garlic and scallions for about 1 minute.
  • Add the light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, wine, sugar, star anise, and stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so that the liquid is at a simmer.
  • Add the tofu to the sauce and stir gently so that the tofu is covered. Simmer until the tofu has absorbed most of the sauce.