TAU HUAY (DOUHUA)
This beancurd dessert goes by many names; most commonly douhua across Mandarin-speaking China, tau huay or tahu in parts of Southeast Asia and doufunao, which translates as ‘tofu brains’ in Northern China!
We haven’t personally tried brains before, but if they’re delightfully jiggly, incredibly soft and filled with bracingly fresh flavour then the name might make sense! Beancurd is incredibly ancient, so it’s unsurprising that we see its use in a wide range of national cuisines and styles. In Singapore and most of Southeast Asia this ‘silken’ tofu is prepared as a dessert, with tender slices piled up in a cold or hot sugar syrup.
It’s supremely satisfying to scoop a chunk out before slurping up the silky and smooth spoonful. The tau huay here makes for a sweet yet light bite, and it’s popular as a snack for any time of day (or night – the Southeast Asian supper culture runs strong in Singapore!).
You can find a few varieties of sweet tau huay in Singapore, with the most popular being the traditional curd and syrup style and the version without syrup, which has sweetness and additional flavours like almond or taro mixed into the tofu itself. Styles like this have been popularised by neighbourhood chains like Lao Ban Soya Beancurd, with bustling supper spots like Rochor Beancurd retaining the classic variety.