Tomato Tofu Soup (番茄豆腐湯)

Learn how to make this classic Cantonese comfort soup at home!

Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Yields
5 servings

A Recipe by Daddy Lau

My dad's been cooking Chinese food for over 50 years - as a kid fending for himself in Guangzhou, as the head chef of his own restaurant, and as a loving father in our home.

Hopefully, by learning this recipe, you'll get to experience some of the delicious joy we felt growing up eating his food!

- Randy

I'm excited to share my mom's favorite soup - Tomato Tofu Soup!

Back in China, my parents has this soup but it had fewer ingredients in it. They didn't have ketchup but they used a combination of sugar, soy sauce, and some salt.

If you're like me and don't like tomatoes, this soup is perfect for you because it's not as tomato-forward as some other dishes.

This soup has a simple yet complex flavor profile. Its sweetness complements the savory elements in the soup. The slight tangy flavors from the tomatoes pair delicately with the silky eggs in the soup. You can control its flavors well. Feel free to highlight every element in the soup to your taste.

Ingredients

Weight: US
oz
g
Volume: US
cup
mL
Servings
5
    Main Ingredients
  • 14 oz medium firm tofu (

    You can use firmer tofu. Avoid silky or soft tofu as it will fall apart during the cooking process.

    )
  • 4 oz fresh mushroom
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 3 spring onions
  • Slurry Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • Cooking Ingredients
  • 14 oz chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

On Tomatoes

In Cantonese, tomatoes are called "faan keh", which literally translates to "foreign eggplant". This is a nod to China's confused but curious first impression of tomatoes when they first arrived on the scene a few hundred years ago during the Ming Dynasty.

Since then, tomatoes have made their way into different niches of Chinese cuisine, especially in classic Cantonese dishes like scrambled eggs and tomatoes or the soup we're learning how to make right now.

Cut some of the tomatoes (1.0) into small diced pieces. Make sure to keep the shape of the tomato intact so that it's easier to dice when you rotate it.

The smaller pieces will release more flavor into the soup and break down easily.

Cut the rest of the tomatoes (2.0) into larger pieces.

Cut the mushroom (4 oz) into small diced pieces. Set aside.

Wash and chop the spring onions (3) into medium-sized bits. Separate the white parts from the greens and set them aside.

Slice and smash the ginger (2 slices) to have it release its flavor more quickly during the cooking process. Set them aside.

Removing tomato skin (optional)

If you want to remove the skin of the tomatoes, first score the skin from the bottom to the top. Pour hot water or boiling water over the tomato. Leave the tomatoes in the hot water for about 20 seconds and then peel the skin off gently.​

Rinse the tofu and cut the block into medium pieces. You should aim to have 32-40 pieces.

Crack eggs (2) into a bowl and gently beat them. Note that they do not have to be well beaten leaving some bits of egg whites and yolks separate. Set aside.

To create the slurry for the soup, combine cornstarch (3 tbsp) and water (4 tbsp). Mix until homogenous and set aside.

Turn on the stove and heat up the wok for 20-30 seconds on high heat before adding the cooking oil (1 tbsp).

Heat the oil for 15-20 seconds before adding the ginger (2 slices).

Sauté the bigger pieces of ginger brings out its flavor which will later enhance the soup. Because the ginger is not expected to be eaten like in stir-fry dishes, there is no need to chop it more finely.

Once the oil is rippling, turn down the heat.

Add and sauté the white parts of the green onion​.​

Add in the smaller diced tomatoes (0.99). Let the smaller pieces of tomato cook for about 20-30 seconds before adding the rest.

Add the rest of the tomatoes (2.0) in and cook for another 30 seconds.

The smaller pieces will be adding a more tomato flavour while the later tomator pieces give texter.

Add mushrooms and let cook for 20-30 seconds before transfering to a large pot.

In a large pot, add all the fried ingredients.

Add chicken broth (14 oz) and water (3 cups).

Cover with the pot's lid and let it simmer for a minute and a half.

Add tofu and cover the pot again. Let the soup boil for 10 minutes before turning the heat down to low.

Mix the slurry one more time to make sure the cornstarch hasn't settled and slowly add the slurry to the pot while continuously stirring the soup.

At this point, you can add more slurry for your desired consistency. Once the slurry is incorporated into the soup, turn the heat back to high.

Pour the eggs slowly over the soup while gently stirring it. Make sure that the heat is on high when pouring the eggs so that they will cook quickly.

Once the eggs are floating to the surface of the soup add your flavors.

Add ketchup (2 tbsp), salt, sugar (2 tbsp), and sesame oil (1 tsp).

Taste to adjust the flavors and plate once it's to your taste! Garnish with the green parts of the spring onions (3). This is usually served in a large serving bowl and everyone can take the amount they want.

Summary

Tomato Tofu Soup (番茄豆腐湯)
Learn how to make this classic Cantonese comfort soup at home!
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 40 min
  • Yield: 5 servings
    Main Ingredients
  • 14 oz medium firm tofu (

    You can use firmer tofu. Avoid silky or soft tofu as it will fall apart during the cooking process.

    )
  • 4 oz fresh mushroom
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 3 spring onions
  • Slurry Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • Cooking Ingredients
  • 14 oz chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
Step 1 - Prepare vegetables↑ Jump to details

Cut some tomatoes (0.99) into small diced pieces. Cut the rest of the tomatoes (2.0) into larger pieces.

Cut the mushroom (4 oz) into small diced pieces.

Wash and chop the spring onions (3) into medium-sized bits. Separate the white parts from the greens and set them aside.

Slice and smash the ginger (2 slices) to have it release its flavor more quickly during the cooking process. Set them aside.

Step 2 - Prepare tofu↑ Jump to details

Rinse the tofu and cut the block into medium pieces. You should aim to have 32-40 pieces.

Step 3 - Prepare eggs↑ Jump to details

Crack eggs (2) into a bowl and gently beat them. Note that they do not have to be well beaten leaving some bits of egg whites and yolks separate. Set aside.

Step 4 - Prepare slurry↑ Jump to details

To create the slurry for the soup, combine cornstarch (3 tbsp) and water (4 tbsp). Mix until homogenous and set aside.

Step 5 - Sauté ingredients↑ Jump to details

Turn on the stove and heat up the wok for 20-30 seconds on high heat before adding the cooking oil (1 tbsp).

Heat the oil for 15-20 seconds before adding the ginger (2 slices).

Add and sauté the white parts of the green onion.​ ​

Add in the smaller diced tomatoes (0.99). Let the smaller pieces of tomato cook for about 20-30 seconds before adding the rest.

Add the rest of the tomatoes (2.0) in and cook for another 30 seconds.

Add mushrooms and let cook for 20-30 seconds before transfering to a large pot.

Step 6 - Boil ingredients↑ Jump to details

In a large pot, add all the fried ingredients.

Add chicken broth (14 oz) and water (3 cups).

Cover with the pot's lid and let it simmer for a minute and a half.

Add tofu and cover the pot again. Let the soup boil for 10 minutes before turning the heat down to low.

Step 7 - Add slurry to the soup↑ Jump to details

Slowly add the slurry to the pot while continuously stirring the soup. Adjust to desired consistency.

Step 8 - Add eggs↑ Jump to details

Pour the eggs slowly over the soup while gently stirring it. Make sure that the heat is on high when pouring the eggs so that they will cook quickly.

Once the eggs are floating to the surface of the soup add your flavors.

Step 9 - Add flavors↑ Jump to details

Add ketchup (2 tbsp), salt, sugar (2 tbsp), and sesame oil (1 tsp).

Step 10 - Taste test & plate↑ Jump to details

Taste to adjust the flavors and plate once it's to your taste! Garnish with the green parts of the spring onions (3). This is usually served in a large serving bowl and everyone can take the amount they want.

Step 11 - Take pictures
Whip out your camera (1). Begin taking photos (1,000,000). Pick your favorites!
Step 12 - Share and tag us on Instagram @madewithlau #madewithlau!
Did you have fun making this recipe? We'd love to see & hear about it. (Especially my dad. He would be THRILLED!)

Enjoy!

We have many, many happy memories of enjoying this dish growing up.

Now, hopefully, you can create your own memories with this dish with your loved ones.

Also, I cordially invite you to eat with us and learn more about the dish, Chinese culture, and my family.

Cheers, and thanks for cooking with us!

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions about the recipe.