Cooking with Jade (Egg) Tofu

Pan fried jade tofu, served with oyster sauce

What is jade tofu? The simplest way to describe it, is that jade tofu is a custard, made with soy milk and eggs. It is also known as egg tofu or Japanese egg tofu.

If you have had any sort of custard before, you know the texture- smooth, creamy, tender. Jade tofu is creamy and soft. But it is not like the custard you might have had in the past.

In the west, custard is sweet, a dessert. That is the big difference here. Jade tofu is not sweet. Although, I could see it being used in sweet applications.

I first had jade tofu at a local Asian restaurant. It was in a dish with fried fish in a light, thickened sauce. Wow, I loved it. So did friends. I looked it up and even tried to make it once.  It did not go well. For starters, I accidentally bought sweetened soy milk . Then, when I put the heat on, it was too high and the custard curdled a little.

So on the advice of a couple of friends, I looked for it at an Asian grocery store. There it was!!! I was so happy. Now I could enjoy jade tofu whenever I wanted.

Jade tofu is sold in tubes. Kind of like slice and bake cookies. I first just pan fried the slices and served it with a dipping sauce. They sort of look like scallops on the plate. The texture is what it is all about. I really enjoyed serving that way. It makes a nice appetizer served that way.








This is the brand that my store carries. I like that the soy milk is non-GMO.

Honestly, the flavor of jade tofu is pretty neutral. You add it to other ingredients to get flavor. It is a texture element in your dish.

I’ve served it to friends a couple of times now, to good reviews. I even made it the other night with fish, like at the restaurant. It came out really good. I used catfish, which was what I had. Other fish would certainly work, too.

Here is that recipe


Catfish with Jade Tofu

oil- I used avocado oil

1 tube egg tofu, sliced

salt and pepper

1 pound catfish, cut into 2 oz. portions


1 c. stock- I used shrimp stock, but chicken, fish or vegetable stock would work

soy sauce- to taste

2 green onions, sliced

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add the tofu and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove from pan. Add a little more oil, if needed. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then dredge in cornstarch to coat. Fry in skillet until  cooked. Add stock to the fish along with the green onions. Stir until sauce thickens. Return tofu to the pan. Adjust seasonings and serve.


For the pan fried versions, I just sliced the tofu and browned it in oil, in a medium-hot skillet. They are tender, so turn gently. You don’t want to break them.

Jade Tofu with Catfish

Pan fried, served with a sweet chili sauce

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