This Egg Tofu recipe is a family favorite. Soft, silky, smooth fried egg tofu topped with a savory pork and mushroom gravy.
The first time I had Egg Tofu with Minced Pork was at Phoenix Inn Chinese Cuisine in Alhambra, CA. The Phoenix chain is famous for their pillowy-soft mochi desserts and mixed fruit tapioca drinks. However, their traditional Chinese food does not disappoint. My introduction to Egg Tofu with Minced Pork was so memorable, I had to come up with my own egg tofu recipe.
This egg tofu recipe became a favorite in our family. Believe it or not, the hardest part of this dish is frying the tofu. I like to fry the egg tofu ahead of time before picking up the girls from school. It’s a huge timesaver on days my girls are in gymnastics or ice skating class. When I’m ready to prepare the dish, it’s a quick stir fry and with a pot of steamed rice, dinner is ready in 20 minutes.
What is Japanese Egg Tofu?
Japanese egg tofu is a silken tofu with an eggy custard-like flavor. The main ingredients in egg tofu are eggs and soybeans. Traditional silken tofu is very much like egg tofu however, it does not include eggs. It is the addition of eggs that give egg tofu the custard-like flavor and the bright rich color when fried. They often come in tubes and can be found in Asian grocery stores like Mitsuwa, H-Mart, and 99 Ranch Market.
How to Prepare Japanese Egg Tofu with Minced Pork
Remember, just like silken tofu, egg tofu is very delicate and requires handling with care. To keep from breaking, transfer egg tofu into the pan with a silicone spatula or some very gentle fingers.
1) Cut egg tofu right down the middle through the packaging.
2) Give the ends a gentle squeeze and the egg tofu will slide right out.
3) Cut egg tofu into half inch thick rounds and they’re ready for shallow frying.
As the egg tofu fries, it turns a beautiful golden color. The surface forms a light eggy crust that tastes almost as if it's been coated with eggs.
Once it's fried, the crust also provides the delicate tofu with some protection so it is less likely to break into pieces when handled.
Ingredient Notes for Chinese Egg Tofu Recipe
Shiitake Mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms are another staple in the Chinese kitchen. I like to use dried shiitake mushrooms for its deep umami flavor that frankly is irreplaceable.
Dried shiitake mushrooms are easy to store but do require a few hours to reconstitute so definitely plan ahead. If you’re short on time, soak the mushrooms in hot water. A one hour soak will usually do the trick and you’ll notice the water turn into a deep amber hue. Never, ever, ever, ever toss out the water the mushrooms have been soaking in. It’s considered liquid gold! Much like chicken broth, it gives your dish a deep complex flavor that tastes like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day.
Dried shiitake mushrooms are what this recipe calls for but you can definitely use fresh shiitake mushrooms. Just be sure to replace the mushroom soaking liquid with chicken broth.
Egg Tofu Substitutions: Egg tofu is truly what makes this egg tofu recipe so delicious. However, I know it may not be readily available in your local supermarket so any type of silken tofu would be a close second.
How to Make Egg Tofu with Minced Pork
Prep all the ingredients before you start cooking. In this recipe, I use a wok as well as a large non-stick skillet. The wok is used for browning and simmering the aromatics and ground pork. While that's simmering, I use a non-stick skillet to fry the egg tofu. Non-stick is essential when frying tofu to ensure it doesn't stick.
1) Lightly brown the mushrooms and aromatics with a tablespoon of oil.
2) Fry the ground pork and use the spatula to break up into small pieces.
3) Add the SAUCE mixture and toss for about 30 seconds.
4) Add the mushroom soaking liquid and bring to a boil.
5) Cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6) While the sauce is simmering, fry both sides of the egg tofu until golden.
7) After 20 minutes, uncover the meat sauce and thicken with cornstarch slurry.
8) Add the fried egg tofu and gently incorporate into sauce.
- 2 8 oz packages of egg tofu
- ½ lb ground pork
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 2 ¼ cups warm water for 2-3 hours until fully rehydrated. Gently squeeze out excess water, trim off thick woody ends of the stems then slice. Reserve the soaking liquid for later.
- 1 tablespoon of ginger, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups mushroom soaking liquid
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoon cold water (cornstarch slurry)
- Prep by mixing all the SAUCE ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate small bowl, prepare the cornstarch slurry and set aside.
- Heat a wok or skillet over medium heat. When it begins to smoke or is well heated, add a tablespoon of cooking oil.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and ginger and stir fry until the mushrooms begin to turn lightly golden brown.
- Add the garlic and stir fry until the garlic begins to change color.
- Turn the heat to high and add the ground pork. Use your spatula to break up the pork into small pieces while stirring.
- Once the pork is browned, add the SAUCE ingredients prepared earlier and toss for about 30 seconds to coat the pork. This helps bring out the flavors of the sauce.
- Add the mushroom soaking liquid and mix well. Let it come to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the meat sauce is simmering, cut the tofu into half inch slices.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat with a tablespoon of cooking oil. Fry the egg tofu until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.
- After simmering for 20 minutes, the pork should be tender. If it is low on liquid, add up to a ¼ cup of water to recoup what was lost. Turn the heat to medium high to return it to a low boil.
- Stir the cornstarch slurry that was prepared earlier. By now the cornstarch would've settled to the bottom so be sure to stir until it is well incorporated.
- Stir in half of the cornstarch slurry to the pork. Continue stirring until the meat sauce comes to a boil and begins to thicken. Repeat the process by adding a tablespoon of cornstarch slurry at a time until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
- Add the fried egg tofu and gently toss until fully incorporated. Be careful not to break up the tofu.