Silken Tofu

By: MeganPosted: 16/03/2023 Updated: 01/12/2023
Prep 5 minutes
Total 5 minutes
This savory, silken tofu recipe is made with an exceptional soy garlic chili sauce. This easy cold tofu recipe is a healthy, rich and flavorful dish that can be made in under 5 minutes!
Silken Tofu

This savory, silken tofu recipe is made with an exceptional soy garlic chili sauce. This easy cold tofu recipe is a healthy, rich, and flavorful dish that can be made in under 5 minutes!

Silken tofu on a plate ready to eat.

If you love soft, velvety smooth tofu and a spicy soy garlic sauce, this silken tofu recipe was made for you! The best part about this cold tofu recipe is that all you need to do is mix the sauce, slice the tofu, and pour it over the tofu. It really is as simple as that. You can serve this cold tofu recipe on its own or as a side dish with some steamed rice and stir-fried garlic green beans!

This Chinese soft tofu recipe is traditionally served cold, but you can easily heat it up with a microwave if you prefer it warm. If you loved this silken soft tofu recipe, check out my teriyaki tofu, tofu soup recipe, or Korean army stew for other tofu recipes.

Up close with silken tofu on a plate garnished.

What is silken tofu?

Silken tofu is a type of tofu that has the highest water content and silky smooth custardy texture. It is unpressed and made of soy milk.

The varieties of tofu will range from silken, soft, firm to extra firm. The level of firmness depends on the water content and density of the tofu. For this cold tofu recipe, I recommend using silken tofu or soft tofu. You can find either type of tofu in the refrigerated section of most Asian grocery stores.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy. This silken tofu recipe only requires 3 really quick and easy steps. You can finish making this easy tofu recipe in under 5 minutes!
  • Delicious. This silken tofu recipe is made with a rich, soy garlic chili sauce that will make you come back for more.
  • Perfect for warm weather. This cold tofu requires absolutely no cooking at all which makes it a perfect option for those warm spring and summer months.

Kitchen Equipment

This recipe for soft tofu only requires one item of kitchen equipment.

  • Mixing bowl: all you will need is a mixing bowl to mix together the soy garlic chili sauce!

Ingredients

You can find all of the ingredients for this easy silken tofu recipe at your local Asian grocery store or online!

  • Silken Tofu: the star ingredient! I recommend using silken tofu for the softest, and most custard-like texture.
  • Soy Sauce: soy sauce is the base ingredient for the sauce which adds a salty umami flavor. Use regular soy sauce and not light or dark soy sauce.
  • Chinese Black Rice Vinegar: Chinese black vinegar is made from fermented black sticky rice that adds a malty, complex vinegar flavor that is mildly acidic with a faintly sweet flavor. You can find Chinese black vinegar at your local Asian grocery store in the sauce aisle.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: toasted sesame oil adds a nutty strong roast flavor to the cold tofu.
  • Chili Oil Crisp: the best chili oil crisp is the one you make from scratch. Chili oil adds a hint of heat and spices to the easy silken tofu recipe. The second best is Momofoku’s chili oil crisp.
  • Sugar: a touch of sugar balances out the strong soy sauce and rice vinegar flavors.
  • Garlic: freshly minced garlic is the main aromatic in this Chinese soft tofu.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds: a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds adds a nutty crunch and added texture.
  • Green Onion and Cilantro: minced green onion and cilantro add a certain fresh brightness to the easy silken tofu recipe.
All the ingredients for silken tofu labeled.

Substitutions and Additions

You can personalize this silken soft tofu recipe with the following substitutions and additions I’ve listed below.

  • Soft Tofu: you can alternatively use soft tofu.
  • Caramelized onions: if you want a more fragrant and aromatic dish, you can add diced caramelized onions to the sauce.
  • Hot chili peppers: if you want to increase the spice level of your cold tofu recipe, you can add diced chili peppers like jalapeños or Thai chili peppers.

How to Make Silken Tofu

You can prepare this silken soft tofu recipe in under 5 minutes!

  1. Prepare tofu. Drain the tofu from the package. Place the tofu on a paper towel-lined cutting board. Gently pat the tofu to dry the excess moisture. Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch slices and place on a serving plate.
Silken tofu after being drained and sliced.
  1. Mix sauce. In a small mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, black rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, sugar, sesame seeds, and minced garlic.
The silken tofu sauce mixed together in a bowl.
  1. Assemble. Drizzle the sauce over the tofu. Garnish green onions and cilantro. Enjoy!
Up close with silken tofu on a plate garnished.

Tips for the Best Silken Tofu

  • Absorb excess moisture from the tofu. To remove the tofu, run a knife along the edges of the plastic. Drain the liquid from the tofu box, then flip the tofu box over a paper towel-lined cutting board. Leave the tofu to drain for a few minutes. Then place a plate over the tofu and flip it over.
  • Serve cold. Serve this soft tofu dish directly from the refrigerator. This makes it easy to prepare and refreshing for warmer days.

Storage Instructions

This silken soft tofu recipe is best served immediately but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

Is silken tofu the same as soft tofu?

No. Silken tofu has the softest consistency and highest liquid content out of all the tofu varieties. Soft tofu is slightly firmer than silken tofu and has a bit more structure.

Where can I buy silken tofu?

You can buy this tofu at any Asian grocery store in the refrigerated aisle. You can identify the type of tofu by the label on the tofu packaging.

Is silken soft tofu healthier than regular tofu?

Silken soft tofu contains about half the calories and fat, while firm regular tofu contains over twice the protein. The main reason is the water content. Silken tofu contains the most water whereas firm tofu is drier and denser.

Can you just eat raw tofu?

Yes! You can eat any type of tofu directly from the container. Tofu is not technically raw food since it has been precooked before being placed in its packaging. Before enjoying the tofu, drain off any excess liquid from the packaging.

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Recipe

Up close with silken tofu on a plate garnished.

Silken Tofu

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
This savory, silken tofu recipe is made with an exceptional soy garlic chili sauce. This easy cold tofu recipe is a healthy, rich and flavorful dish that can be made in under 5 minutes!
Servings: 4 servings
Print Recipe

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Prepare tofu. Drain the tofu from the package. Place the tofu on a paper-towel lined cutting board. Gently pat the tofu to dry the excess moisture. Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch slices and place on a serving plate.
  • Mix sauce. In a small mixing bowl, add the soy sauce, black rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, sugar, sesame seeds and minced garlic.
  • Assemble. Drizzle the sauce over the tofu. Garnish green onions and cilantro. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Absorb excess moisture from the silken tofu. To remove the tofu, run a knife along the edges of the plastic. Drain the liquid from the tofu box, then flip the tofu box over a paper towel-lined cutting board. Leave the tofu to drain for a few minutes. Then place a plate over the tofu and flip it over.
  • Serve cold. This soft tofu dish is served directly from the refrigerator which makes it easy to prepare and refreshing for warmer days.
  • Storage instructions: This silken tofu recipe is best served immediately but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition:

Calories: 60kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 639mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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