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Tofu and Chips: Surprisingly Delicious

I was never a fan of tofu. I think the problem is that in the west, it’s often used as a meat, egg or dairy substitute. Scrambled tofu? Tofu panacotta? Tofu chocolate mousse? Wrong, wrong, wrong. 
But in China, tofu has a life of its own. It even has a whole supermarket aisle of its own. There are more tofu products here than there are cuts of meat at my regular supermarket. Accordingly, in Chinese recipes, tofu is given the respect it deserves, with dishes dedicated to bringing out the best of its characteristics, not designed to fool you into thinking that you could be eating meat. 
I often see street vendors selling squares of fried tofu, seasoned with chili salt. They come with long toothpicks so you can eat them without getting messy. This was something new though – tofu with chips! An east meets west stroke of brilliance. The crinkle cut potatoes were first deep fried in the street-side wok, then drained and tipped onto the grill plate to get really delicious, along with some chili flakes, chopped spring onions, and  pepper. (That will be my family in the background, loking sceptical. But it only took one taste to win them over.) Yum! 5 yuan (80c) per dish. 

  • SHFoodist

    I had these the other day on Sipailou Lu (literally Mecca for street eats) and they were incredible…an actual meeting of fried East meeting fried West, ha. Where did you find yours?

  • Melissa

    Whoa, I want that pretty much immediately. Do tell where.

  • Liv Wan

    I think a lot of western people don't like tofu is because they don't know how to cook tofu. So, they don't know tofu could be very tasty.

  • Fiona

    To SHFoodist: are you sure you're not in the background of the photo?? Also got mine on Sipailou Lu…it's such a great weekend lunch spot

    To melissa: follow the crowds heading east along Fangbang Lu from Yu Gardens and the Town Gods Temple…..turn right into Sipailou Lu

    to Liv: You are EXACTLY right – I had no idea tofu could taste so good until I came to China – back home it's sadly misused and badly cooked. Tofu is very tasty.

  • Jeannie

    Yep, tofu is very tasty the way the chinese cooked it:D

  • riceandwheat

    Yum I'm so jealous of all the delicious street food you've been posting about Fiona. I wish I can get someone in SF to start selling these!