This is a blog post on how to make soybean pudding (tau foo fah) at home. It is also known as doufu hua ( 豆腐花) (tau foo fah) pudding. A classic ancient Chinese pudding. It is a bit like an Asian equivalent of the Italian panna cotta. Except that it is soy rather than dairy. So good news for vegans. When serving cold it is a great refreshing snack on a hot day. Also, it also serves warm.
I grew up eating them as it is easily available in daily wet market stalls where you can it serve warm or cold. These stalls normally sell soybean juice as well. Now living abroad it is not so easily available so I tend to make it at home. Of course, it is available to buy in big Chinese grocers in big cities like London but not so in the countryside. However, the good news is that the ingredients are available to buy from your local supermarkets or online.
How to make soybean pudding (tau foo fah)
There are many ways to make soybean pudding. The cheats way is to buy some ready-made soy drink and add some Vege-gel (vegan gelatin) or gelatin powder. Or another cheats way is to buy some soft tofu and just add some sugar syrup. The harder way or a time-consuming way to buy some dried soybean, rehydrate and blend with some water to obtain soy juice. Then add gypsum (natural calcium sulfate) or add nigari (extracted seawater magnesium chloride).
The sugar syrup is normally made from just sugar and water. But growing up in Malaysia, sugar syrup is made from palm sugar (gula Melaka and pandan leaves). It just adds a nice aromatic flavor to it.
So far I have only made it successfully with Vege gel and soy bean drink (natural sugars). Just add a packet of Vege-gel and a 1 liter of Alpro soy drink. It turns out quite well. I have also tried gypsum powder in the past but don’t quite remember the ratio of powder to soybean liquid.