Tau Hu Hua, Tau Fu Fah, Douhua – it doesn’t matter how you say or spell it, it refers to a delicious silky tofu dessert that is served with plain or ginger-flavored sugar syrup (although depending on where you live or visit, you would probably find it served other ways as well). I’ve missed eating Tau Hu Hua since I moved here and have thought often about trying to make it using gelatin or agar-agar instead of the traditional food grade gypsum to set or coagulate it. Now, thanks to Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover blog who recently posted the recipe (which uses agar-agar), I can enjoy this yummy dessert anytime again. In addition, I have one less thing to experiment with. Yay!
So far, I’ve made this dessert twice – first with the Swallow Globe brand agar-agar (an Indonesian product) and the second time with a Japanese brand agar-agar. I find the Swallow Globe agar-agar produces a more delicate texture – very much like the traditional Tau Hu Hua as compared to the Japanese brand agar-agar which resulted in a slightly firmer texture. The reason why I switched to the Japanese brand the second time was because the Swallow Globe brand contains vanilla powder in its agar-agar mixture which I feel overwhelms the natural flavor of the soy milk itself. I think I will stick to the Japanese brand agar-agar again the next time but reduce the measurement to 1¼ teaspoons to see if I can achieve a more delicate texture. Either way, the dessert still turned out refreshingly delicious both times and I look forward to making it often, especially in the hot summer months. Enjoy and have fun trying!
1.8 liters soy milk, divided
1½ teaspoons agar-agar powder
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 900 milliliters soy milk over medium-low heat until steaming hot. Place the remaining 900 milliliters soy milk in a bowl together with the agar-agar powder, stirring well to dissolve the agar-agar. Add mixture to the steaming-hot soy milk in the saucepan, stirring well. Bring to steaming hot once again over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Then, increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, remove soy milk mixture from heat and transfer to a container. Skim off any bubbles on the surface. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then skim off the skin that forms on the surface. Cool and refrigerate until set. Use a spoon to make shallow scoops of the Tau Hu Hua and serve with sugar syrup.
½ cup granulated sugar
1½ cups water
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water, bringing it to boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove to a glass or container and cool.