Ingredient of the Month 1: Dried Beancurd Sticks

Introducing my new series: "Ingredient of the month", which from next month I will post during the first week of each month- promise! I'll feature any ingredient which can be offered to Krishna, and give its nutritional profile, ideas for cooking with it, and other facts.

This month it's dried beancurd sticks (Fu Zhu), which we sometimes pick up from one of the Chinese Supermarkets in town. Last Saturday, determined to get even with my husband for the lovely vegan pasta bake* he had made me the night before (competitive? moi?), I was intending to get some fresh tofu for the stirfry to end all stirfries, but they were sold out so I went straight for this old favourite...

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 170g
Amount per Serving
Calories 85
Calories from Fat 61.2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6.8g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 0mg
Total Carbohydrate 8.5g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 6.8g

Est. Percent of Calories from:

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calories needs.
Read more:

Beancurd sticks are about 22% protein, compared to firm tofu at 10%, but when rehydrated they are probably less. A more useful comparison might be to cooked dried chickpeas at 23% or peanuts at 23.7%. They are also rich in calcium and iron.

Origins: As you may well guess, beancurd sticks feature in Chinese and far Eastern cookery. They are not actually dried tofu but are made by skimming off the skin that forms on boiling soya milk and drying it. The sticks (as opposed to sheets- yuba-  which can be rehydrated and used to make vegetable parcels/ dim sum or "tofu chicken") are often used as a meat substitute in broths.

Suggestions: The kids have fond memories of the camping trips we used to go on in France and Spain. As they are light to carry, non-perishable and easy to cook, we would often take beancurd sticks along. I remember in particular one overnight stop we made on a country roadside just south of Orleans. Although tired from the journey, as we emerged from the van to stretch our legs the sunset was catching the avenue of poplar trees and I felt like we had walked straight into a Van Gogh painting! Cooked on a camping stove with some home-grown potatoes and courgettes, herbs and seasonings and a tin of tomatoes, those beancurd sticks made a memorable meal. They're great for one-pot wonders! Last Saturday's stir fry was good too- with assorted veg and noodles and lashings of soy sauce and garlic-free five-spice- it did look disturbingly like chicken though. Midweek I added the last of the sticks to some mixed vegetables and spinach sweated with rogan josh seasoning (powder, not paste- and do check the ingredients of ready-prepared masalas for onion and garlic) served up with plain basmati rice. This is super quick and easy, as long as you soak the beancurd sticks while you are preparing the vegetables so that they are already soft when you add them to the pan. This applies to the stir-fry too. Or how about some veg and noodle broth, perhaps based on miso, with broken-up beancurd sticks in it? I haven't made that one yet, but I'll post it when I do... my "Ingredient of the month" is already giving me some fresh ideas- hope it works for you too!

* See post 6.10.11


  1. Hello! I too am a yuba lover, but I think your nutritional info might be off.

    The serving size is 170 grams, and the listed calories are 85. That would mean it has 0.5 calories per gram. Unless that's tested *after hydration*, this is likely incorrect. Protein and carbohydrates each have 4 calories per gram, fat has 9. The numbers just don't add up.

    Just FYI.

    1. Thanks for that. Just goes to show you can't always trust what's in the packet! Maybe it does refer to hydrated? Not sure...


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