Review by

Asian Tofu
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1607740254 1607740257

Learn how to make silken (soft), firm, pressed, fermented and fried tofu, as well as homemade tofu skin, noodles, blocks and pudding with Andrea Nguyen's tofu-making lessons. You can then use her recipes from Vietnam, China, Korea, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Japan and Thailand to cook with tofu.

Well-illustrated with photos, the cookbook includes meat, soup, salad, snack, dessert, vegan and vegetarian tofu recipes. Interviews with Asian tofu-makers and cooking tips supplement the 100 recipes.


The 231-page cookbook begins with information about tofu ingredients—dried soybeans, soy milk and coagulants, including nigari (magnesium chloride), gypsum (calcium sulphate) and epsom salts (magnesium sulphate). Andrea Nguyen also describes equipment for making tofu, including blenders, pressing cloths and molds.

Sidebars provide storing tips, such as how to freeze tofu and how to thaw frozen tofu. Charts explain the differences between rich, medium and light soy milk, as well as the amount of protein per serving of silken, regular, firm, extra-firm and super-firm tofu.

Cooking tofu

The tofu cookbook is organized by type of tofu recipe. Examples include snacks (tofu French fries), soups (soft tofu and seafood hot pot), main dishes (roast chicken with red fermented tofu), salads (tofu noodle and vegetable), meat substitutes (tofu steak burgers), desserts (tofu ice cream and tofu tiramisu), as well as candy (cashew and cardamom fudge).

In the chapter introductions, Andrea Nguyen introduces you to tofu-makers in Taiwan and other Asian countries. Nguyen's cookbook includes Thai recipes (fried tofu with chile peanut sauce), Japanese (tofu and vegetable fritters), Indian (spiced tofu and vegetable fritters), Malaysian (grilled crisp tofu pockets), Indonesian (spiced tofu and coconut in banana leaf), Korean (tofu with kimchi and pork belly), Vietnamese (lemongrass tofu with chiles) and a variety of Chinese tofu recipes.

Soy milk lees

Andrea Nguyen also includes recipes for cooking with tofu byproducts (soy milk lees or okara, in Japanese), such as soy milk lees and vegetable croquettes, gingery chocolate chip cookies and okara donuts.

A glossary describes Asian ingredients, such as Sichuan peppercorns (Chinese prickly-ash or whole pods and berries, as well as milder Japanese sansho ground berries).

Recipes for spice combinations, (e.g., chile and Sichuan peppercorn mix) and sauces (e.g., Thai sweet chile sauce) supplement the tofu dishes.

Notes to recipes include variations (e.g., adding a spicy meat topping to savory tofu pudding). Other notes suggest garnishes (e.g., strips of toasted nori, or shredded green shisho leaves on Japanese chilled tofu).

Studio photos by Maren Caruso depict making tofu, types of tofu and how to cook tofu dishes in the cookbook. Location photos portray Asian ingredients, tofu-makers and scenery.

Asian Tofu by Andrea Nguyen


Tofu Buying Guide
Tofu Cooking Tips
  • Homemade Tofu Tutorial
  • Snacks and Starters
  • Soups and Hot Pots
  • Main Dishes
  • Salads and Sides
  • Mock Meats
  • Buns, Dumplings, Crepes, Noodles and Rice
  • Sweets and Dessert
  • Basics
Measurement Conversion Charts


Andrea Nguyen is author of the Asian Dumplings and Into the Vietnamese Kitchen cookbooks.

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