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Bean Sprouts with Chives and Tofu

One of the staples in our household is tofu. We love all different kinds of tofu, including these fried tofu puffs which is delicious in a braised dish or in a stir fry. In France, tofu is only just starting to get the recognition it deserves. They are found mostly in health food stores or organic shops. Asian stores however, stock a wider range of the different forms that tofu come in. It’s unlikely, but if you’re a stranger to tofu, it is derived from soya beans.

It has become a bit of a mission of mine to convince my French in laws and friends that tofu is not bland and tasteless (the French word being fade) and pointless. So when I have them over for a meal, I almost always cook tofu. Well, I’m not entertaining much these days, but that’s not enough reason to stop eating it. Especially when I want to cook a vegetarian meal. Or when I’m having a busy day. Or a lazy day. Today was a bit of both. Interstate travel has been lifted and I am going away for the feast of the Ascension long weekend so I wanted to make something quick and simple for dinner.

I always have some form of tofu in the fridge. It is a large part of the Asian diet, and growing up, we ate it at least once or twice a week. Tofu also always reminds of my tree-climbing, bird-rescuing childhood days. Um, maybe it was one of my brothers who did the tree-climbing and the bird-rescuing. I just fed the rescued little birds with… soft tofu.

Entertaining and rescuing aside, tofu is just plain delicious if you give it a chance. Here I’ve done a quick stir-fry using fried tofu puffs with bean sprouts and Chinese chives. There isn’t much of a recipe, nor any measurements really. If you don't have oyster sauce in your pantry, substitute with one or two anchovies in oil for some umami. Just toss everything in a wok or pan over fairly high heat, and dinner is done.

A quick vegetarian dish that can be served alongside steamed rice or noodles. Don’t take the measurements seriously, adjust to your own liking.

Bean Sprouts with Chives and Tofu


Serves 4 to 6

Prep Time 10 mins//Cook Time 10 mins/Total Time 20 mins

  • 1/2 tbsp cooking oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce (substitute with anchovy in oil)

  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil

  • 200 ml water

  • 150 g tofu puffs

  • 300 g beansprouts, rinsed

  • 100 g Chinese chives, rinsed, cut in 5 cm lengths

  • Salt and white pepper

  • Optional 1/2 red chilli, julienned


  1. Heat wok or large frying pan. Add chopped garlic, brown lightly.

  2. Add the tofu puffs, oyster sauce, soya sauce, sesame seed oil and water. Allow to come to a boil, cover and gently simmer over medium heat, about 5 minutes.

  3. Remove cover, increase to high heat, stir in beansprouts and Chinese chives, stir fry about 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Season with white pepper, taste before adding salt.

  5. Garnish with red chillis or deep fried shallots if desired.


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