Tofu Skin Stir-Fry


When it's dried, tofu skin (doufu pi in Mandarin, yuba in Japanese) becomes earthy and chewy. It's sold in many shapes and is hardy enough to withstand braises, bold sauces, and stir-fries, mimicking the texture of shredded meat. In this recipe, dried tofu skin sticks are broken into pieces, rehydrated until pliable, and then stir-fried and with an umami-rich chile oil and soy sauce.

Tofu Skin Stir Fry
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 2 ½ ounces dried tofu skin sticks, broken into 3-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 ½ tablespoons  rice vinegar

  • 1 ½ tablespoons well-stirred fried chile in oil (such as Lao Gan Ma)

  • 1 tablespoon mirin

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola), divided

  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

  • Cooked white rice, for serving

  • Thinly sliced scallions and chopped cucumber, for garnish


  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high. Remove from heat. Add dried tofu skin sticks; place an inverted heatproof lid on top of tofu sticks to keep them submerged. Let stand until tofu sticks are very pliable and soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, stir together soy sauce, vinegar, fried chile in oil, mirin, and sugar in a small bowl until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

  3. Drain tofu sticks, and gently pat dry. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high; swirl to coat. Add bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer bell pepper to a small bowl. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to skillet over medium-high. Add tofu sticks; cook, turning occasionally, until light golden, about 6 minutes.

  4. Add soy sauce mixture and bell pepper to tofu sticks in skillet; cook over medium-high, stirring often, until tofu sticks absorb soy sauce mixture, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve over cooked rice, and garnish with scallions and cucumber.


Find dried tofu skin sticks (aka bean curd sticks) at Chinese markets or online at

Suggested Pairing

Light-bodied California red: Field Recordings Freddo Sangiovese

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