Recipe: Dai-Style Stir-Fried Tofu Bamboo

NOTE: This is Teddy’s Cooking’s blog’s one-year anniversary! YAY!!! Celebration!

Returning from travel, I always eat a lot of Chinese food since it is my favorite and I get really tired of other cuisines after eating too often… hehe, sorry! But once I feel like I can stand to eat Turkish cuisine again I will make a recipe for something yummy. 😀

I introduced “tofu bamboo”, which is dried sticks of tofu skin, in the Buddha’s Delight recipe. Please check it out 🙂

Anyways, since I LOVE tofu bamboo, this is a really good dish to make with it. I adapted it from the book Beyond the Great Wall which is about China’s ethnic minority cooking, including Tibetan, Mongolian, Uyghur, Hmong, Yi, Dai, etc. and it is also very interesting because it is sort of a memoir, with stories between the recipes. This recipe is from the Dai ethnic group in southern Yunnan Province. They are one of the Tai peoples, a group of ethnic groups originating Southern China who migrated south a thousand years ago. The Tai peoples have related languages, cultures, and traditional religion, and include the Thai people, Lao people, and many smaller ethnic groups.

This recipe is very delicious. It requires some soaking time though. Unlike the picture in the book, more than half of my tofu bamboo became tiny pieces, but still a very delicious dish.


3 oz (half of my package) tofu bamboo (dried tofu skin sticks)


1 tbsp oil (preferably peanut)

red pepper flakes to taste (I use 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp Korean coarse red pepper powder for red color)

1 to 2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp white rice vinegar (or Chinkiang vinegar)

1/2 tsp white sugar

finely chopped cilantro leaves (I didn’t have any so I skipped. But use if you have)


1. Boil a pot of water. Add tofu sticks and wait a while until you can submerge all of them (break in half if you want, so you do not need to do this). Boil 5 minutes, mix well and cover. Leave for 30 minutes. Mix every 10 minutes and try to submerge all of it. It is ready when all of it is a lighter color.

2. Drain and rinse if too hot. Then cut each stick into 2 inch lengths and in half crosswise. The bend parts of the sticks may still be hard, but don’t worry. If too hard to cut, discard it. Drain well. (By the way, if the sticks have become mushed into tiny pieces, don’t worry. It happened to me! Maybe I will try a different brand next time)

3. Heat a wok or pan. Add oil.

4. Add pepper flakes. I add the Korean one last. When oil is red, then add tofu sticks quickly. The oil may splatter because the tofu sticks have water. Be careful!

5. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes or so.

6. Add the soy sauce and sugar, stir-fry a couple minutes again to combine. Lastly add cilantro and vinegar and stir.

7. Serve in a Chinese meal (with rice and other veg/meat dishes) or as a snack/appetizer. Enjoy!


5 thoughts on “Recipe: Dai-Style Stir-Fried Tofu Bamboo

  1. Congrats on your anniversary!!
    Hope your body clock is back to
    TO time 🙂 🙂
    Have any idea or know why your
    Tofu broke up into pieces.
    Reading other recipes for Tofu bamboo/sticks etc,,I read where it can
    be soaked from 8 hrs and some mention a day.

    1. Thank you! 🙂
      Tofu bamboo actually contains no tofu but just the skin on top of soymilk 🙂 There is an Indian dessert called labri made from heating milk so a skin forms, then scraping the skin into the milk and repeating until the milk is reduced. The tofu bamboo is made similarly from soymilk but the skin is made thicker, then removed, rolled, and dried. This one broke into pieces because parts were maybe too thin and soft and could not stay as one pieces. It felt very mushy. But eating it, it was not bad texture or mushy at all. Just more flavorful because small pieces can absorb more flavor 😀

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