This Sizzling Vegan Hot Plate Tofu (素铁板豆腐, Sù tiě bǎn dòu fu) made from silky soft tofu is delicious, super simple, and flavorful. The sizzling and bubbling sauce will make this an unforgettable meal and a bite of this definitely brings me down memory lane.
When eating out, it’s common for us to dine at Dai Pai Dong, 大牌档 (open-air kitchen) at home. We also refer to them as Dai Chao (大炒, Dà chǎo) which translates to ‘big fry’. Although it’s normally a one-man show (one chef), the menu is extensive. There is usually not a set or written menu but most stalls will have this Sizzling Hot Plate Tofu to cater to vegetarian diet.
What is so special about this dish is that it’s always cooked in an iron or fajita skillet and served on a wooden plate. As a kid, I always looked forward to the sizzling sound and the bubbling sauce when the waiter brought this dish to the table.
Traditionally, this dish is made with Japanese soft tofu which is made with eggs that are normally deep-fried then topped on a thin layer of egg. Today, I’m recreating it using silken tofu and a plant-based egg. Also, feel free to cook this using a normal pan if you don’t have a cast iron.
How to make Sizzling Vegan Hot Plate Tofu
The key ingredient of this dish is the soft tofu and it normally comes in cylinder packages that have high water content. They are super soft and fragile. Most chefs at home will deep fry this tofu but I slowly pan-fried mine in a non-stick pan until a light crust forms. Then, continue to brown it with a drizzle of oil.
To prepare the sauce, I simply use a mixture of firm tofu (tiny portion), mushrooms, carrots, and peas, then season with vegan ‘oyster’ sauce, soy sauce, and thicken with cornstarch slurry.
To put it all together, first, heat an iron skillet or griddle. Add in a drizzle of oil and pour in a thin layer of plant-based egg. Tip: To get the perfect crusty ‘egg’, let the plant-based egg set a little while the pan is hot. Once you see some bubbles, the ‘egg’ is almost ready.
Arrange a layer of pan-fried tofu and slather the tofu with the sauce you just made. Let the mixture cook for another minute or so. Serve warm with rice. It’s that easy!
If you are a tofu lover, check out:
- Cabbage Tofu Delicata Squash Stew
- Lemongrass Tofu (a vegan version of Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken)
- Lion’s Head Stew (a classic Chinese meatball stew that I veganized)
This Sizzling Vegan Hot Plate Tofu is
- Quick and Easy
- Gluten-free (use gluten-free soy sauce and vegan ‘oyster’ sauce)
- Easily customizable (use your favorite veggies as toppings
- Perfect for the non-spicy food lover
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Sizzling Vegan Hot Plate Tofu
- 4 packages of 11oz Soon Tofu or use Silken/Soft tofu
- 4 oz plant-based egg optional, used Just Egg
- 1 oz firm tofu mashed (optional)
- 2 dried Shiitake mushrooms softened and chopped
- ¼ cup chopped carrot
- ¼ cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon vegan ‘oyster’ sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1¾ cups of water
- pinch of white pepper
- cornstarch slurry
Prepare the Tofu
- Prepare the tofu: Remove tofu from its packaging, and cut it into thick circles or into your desired shapes. Please note that soon tofu is very fragile so handle it with care.
- Place tofu circles in a heated non-stick pan.
- Pan-fry the tofu without oil to seal the outer layer. Once you see a thin crust forms, add a drizzle of oil and continue to cook until golden brown on both sides. (See notes for alternate step)
- Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
Prepare the Sauce
- Prepare the sauce: In a heated non-stick pan, add in the mashed firm tofu, if using.
- Once the tofu crumbles turn slightly yellowish, add a drizzle of oil and continue to cook until golden brown.
- Then, add in the mushrooms and carrot and continue to cook until the mushrooms are fragrant.
- Drizzle in the soy sauce and add in the water, then season with vegan 'oyster' sauce and white pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, and cook for another minute until the sauce is slightly reduced.
- Taste test and season if needed. Swirl in the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. Transfer to a bowl until ready to use.
How to put everything together
- Heat a 10" iron or fajita skillet and add a drizzle of oil.
- Pour in the plant-based 'egg' to cover the whole skillet.
- Once the 'egg' is almost set, add in the prepared tofu and slather the sauce over the tofu.
- Let the mixture cook for another minute or so and serve warm with rice. Enjoy!
- An alternate way to cook the tofu – Dredge tofu with cornstarch and deep fry until golden brown. This is the normal way most chefs prepare this tofu in Malaysia.
- Homemade vegan ‘oyster’ sauce