Meditation & Health #26 Contents


Tofu With Mushrooms

Simply Comforting Sauté

By Dan Yi & Isabella


Tofu, or bean curd, has a special place in the hearts of the Chinese. Tofu’s origin can be traced back some 2,000 years to the Han dynasty. Legend tells us that Prince Liu An wanted to achieve immortality and put great effort into trying to create “immortality pills.” In the process, he created a tender white material with an enticing fragrance by mixing soy milk with gypsum. This delicious product was named tofu.

Many scholars of yore treated tofu as a delicacy. Su Dongpo, famed brilliant writer of the Northern Song dynasty, had a particular love for tofu and created a dish called “Dongpo Tofu.” It is still popular today.

Well-known poet Yuan Mei of the Qing dynasty recorded the many ways of cooking tofu in his work titled Recipes From the Garden of Contentment.

Tofu was introduced to Japan by Jian Zhen, a Chinese monk, about 1,000 years ago. In the early 19th century, tofu was brought to Europe, America and Africa.

A versatile ingredient, it can be included in a vast variety of dishes. Tofu’s ability to absorb flavors makes it a culinary chameleon that complements other ingredients. It can be cooked in a whole host of different ways. Examples include curry tofu, crispy baked garlic tofu, or tofu and mushroom miso soup.

Tofu is a simple food, light in flavor, delicate in texture. It can be transformed into a comforting side dish or the main focus of a meal.




1/2 firm block tofu

1 cup Chinese mushrooms

1/2 cup green peas


1/2 tbsp. salt

2 tbsp. soy sauce, or to taste

1/3 cup water

1/2 tbsp. cornstarch, whisked into equal part cold water to make a slurry

sesame oil


1. Slice tofu and mushrooms.

2. Wash green peas and put in boiling water for two minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Pan-fry tofu slices in cooking oil until golden brown and set aside.

4. Fry the mushroom slices evenly.

5. Add the fried tofu slices into pan with mushrooms. Add water, salt and soy sauce.

6. Pour in the boiled green peas.

7. Whisk cornstarch into water before adding to the pan to thicken the gravy.

8. Drizzle sesame oil over the works before serving.


Tofu contains essential amino acids and protein, and is rich in iron and bone-building calcium. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, tofu promotes the generation of bodily fluids, regulates the internal organs, hydrates the body, and boosts qi.

It is not advisable to eat tofu with food that is high in oxalic acid such as bamboo shoots, spinach and sweet potatoes.

Tofu is cooling in nature and thus should not be consumed in large quantities so as to maintain balance.


Meditation & Health #26 Contents