Cold Silken Tofu with Spicy Chilli Bean Sauce & Dried Shrimp

I’ve cooked this countless of times to the point that I don’t remember who actually taught me to douse this plain soft silken tofu with chilli bean sauce. It could either be my mom or my aunt but this is definitely one of those super quick and simple dishes I’ve often made during my uni days. J came home with a packet or tub of silken tofu (I didn’t clarify that I actually needed firm tofu for something else) but that’s no biggee as I had all the ingredients to make it into this savoury sweet and spicy dish. I’ve always added dried shrimp to intensify the savouriness of the sauce which you want because it complements the bland flavour of the tofu. So don’t wince if the saltiness hits you; you’re meant to eat it with the tofu. And I love presenting this dish; just pour the hot sauce over the cold tofu, chop up some spring onions, sprinkle some fried shallots for added crunch and flavour and a good amount of fresh coriander leaves. This is often served as an appetiser or it simply goes well with plain rice or toss through plain noodles like what I did for lunch today.


300 g silken tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons dried shrimp, finely chopped
1 tablespoon spicy chilli bean sauce
3 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 – 2 stalks of spring onion, chopped
a handful of coriander leaves
sprinkling of fried shallots


  1. Place whole silken tofu onto a serving dish and with a knife, cut through the tofu, making 6 equal sized cubes but keeping everything intact. This just makes serving easier.
  2. Heat oil in a pan or wok; toss in the finely chopped dried shrimp and sauté for about 30 seconds; add the chopped garlic and continue to cook for another 30 seconds, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  3. Add in the chilli bean sauce and cook for a few seconds; add in the water and sugar and continue to cook until it looks slightly thickened and there is a separate layer of oil (This only takes a few seconds over high heat)
  4. Pour the sauce over the tofu and garnish with coriander leaves, chopped spring onions and sprinkling of fried shallots.
  5. Serve immediately. 

If no tofu, just toss through some noodles

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