Vegetarian Bear Claw Tofu 熊掌豆腐



Bear Claw Tofu 熊掌豆腐 is a Sichuan province dish. This dish has been re-invented in so many versions but generally the ingredients includes pork, meat broth and spicy fermented bean sauce called douban豆瓣.  It is given such a name because traditionally, the tofu is sliced after cook such that its shape resembles claws when cooked.

A coworker recently introduced me to her version of “Bear Claw Tofu”熊掌豆腐 at an office potluck, which is hundred percent vegetarian.  It was quite a hit with everyone including myself so I decided to ask for her recipe and tested it a few times myself.

This version is savory with a little tangy flavor from the tomato ketchup. It’s easy to prepare with the exception of pan frying the tofu blocks on both side. Beyond that, the sauce was very easy to prepare and mixing it into the cooked tofu and other ingredients was a breeze.

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Bear Claw Tofu 熊掌豆腐
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Bear Claw Tofu 熊掌豆腐
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  1. Slice each block of tofu into two flat squares then place them on paper towel to soak up some of the liquid from the tofu. Then sprinkle a thin coat of cornstarch on both side.
  2. Combine ingredients for the sauce - stock (or, oyster sauce+water) soy sauce, dark vinegar, ketchup, tomatoes, garlic and ginger.
  3. Turn on stove to medium heat. In a flat pan, add 2 tbsp of cooking oil for a minute or two. Then add tofu and brown each side. Each side takes about 3 minutes. Avoid moving tofu until they are cooked.
  4. Turn off the stove and place cooked tofu squares in paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil and slice through half of the tofu squares like into strips to resemble a "claw".
  5. Turn on stove again to medium heat and place the same flat pan on top. Add the cooked tofu squares, mushrooms, baby corn, and sauce together. Simmer for 3 minutes before turning off stove and serving.
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