Most people think there is only one kind of tofu, namely, tofu. The texture of tofu can ranged from very soft, curd-like to very hard and bouncy. In Chinese, the word “doufu” refers only to the curd-like ones. Even so, one makes a difference between silken tofu or water tofu (水豆腐) and the regular slightly harder tofu. Favoured by the Japanese in particular, silken tofu can be eaten cold or steamed. On the other hand, regular tofu does not break as easily and can be added to soups.

The hard tofu that I am introducing to you today is not called tofu but “dougan” (豆干) in Mandarin, or “tauguah” in Hokkien.

Tauguah are always fried, as opposed to tofu. They also come in different flavours such as black, yellow, or infused with five-spice.

My grandpa loved fried tauguah. On a cold night, we would eat this together as supper. Deep fried in oil, padded dry and then cut into smaller rectangles, tauguah should be served immediately with a dip sauce of freshly chopped garlic in light soy sauce. A chilled blond beer is an ideal accompaniment.

You may want to try my other tofu recipe: steamed silken tofu