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These bean curd knots are sautéed in spicy and garlicky chili oil, and topped with toasted sesame seeds and scallions! Chewy and superbly seasoned, they pack over 20g of protein per serving!

Bean Curd Knots in Spicy Chili Oil

⭐️ Why You Should It

  • Juicy and chewy. If you have never tried Yuba (bean curd), you will get addicted to its satisfying chewiness and slightly stretchy texture. It’s like level-up pasta!
  • Packed with bold flavors. With plenty of garlic, ginger, and chili flakes, the chili oil brings a ton of flavor to every bite! It’s perfectly spicy, a bit sweet, and so savory!
  • Quick and easy to make. 35 minutes is all you will need to create this impressive Chinese-inspired dish! Plus, it requires minimal ingredients.

📘 What are Bean Curds

Bean curd skin, also known as yuba, tofu knots, or tofu skin, is basically the skin that forms on the surface when you boil soy milk for a few minutes. It is then removed from the milk and usually dried. The first reference to tofu skin appeared in a Chinese book around 1578.

Yuba can be found in many different forms: sheets, strips, or even knots. While it’s usually sold dried, it can also be found fresh in the refrigerated section of some Asian supermarkets.

Bean Curd Knots in Spicy Chili Oil

🌶️ Ingredient Notes

These bean curd knots take less than 35 minutes to prepare and require only 10 ingredients. Here is what you will need:

  • Dried bean curd knots – Also known as tofu skin, you can find bean curd knots sold dried online or in Asian supermarkets. Make sure you are getting the knots, not the strips.
  • Oil – Use a neutral oil like grapeseed, canola, or avocado oil.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic works best; do not substitute with garlic powder.
  • Ginger – Again, use fresh ginger for a citrusy and piquant aroma.
  • Red pepper flakes – For spiciness and subtle smokiness. You can use red pepper flakes or Gochugaru, which is Korean chili powder. The latter will yield slightly less spicy oil.
  • Sesame seeds – Preferably raw sesame seeds since we will be toasting them in the oil.
  • Soy sauce – For saltiness and umami. Use coconut aminos if you want to make this recipe gluten-free.
  • Maple syrup – To balance with the saltiness and spiciness. You can use maple syrup, agave, or honey if you are not vegan.
  • Lime juice – Lime juice helps elevate the overall flavor by bringing freshness and tanginess.

🥣 How to Cook It

  1. Cook the bean curds. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the bean curds and cook for about 2 minutes or until tender. Note: It might take a bit longer depending on the brand used, so ensure you check the package instructions.
  2. Drain and set aside. Once the bean curds are tender, drain them and rinse them under cold water. Squeeze them well to remove as much liquid as possible.

In the meantime, prepare the chili oil that brings a ton of flavor to this dish:

  1. Sauté the aromatics. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and green onions for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the bean curd knots. Add the drained bean curds to the skillet and cook for one more minute in the aromatic oil.
  3. Let simmer. Finally, pour in the soy sauce, maple syrup, and lime juice. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow the bean curds to soak up the flavors of the sauce.

Before serving, sprinkle with more green onions for freshness, and serve with your favorite greens on the side!

🥗 What to Serve It With

You can serve these bean curd knots as an appetizer or as a topping to rice or quinoa. You can also serve them with stir-fried or steamed vegetables!

📔 Tips

  • Do not overcook the bean curd knots. Stop the cooking process as soon as the knots are tender. If you overcook them, they will unknot and may start to fall apart.
  • Drain them well. Make sure to squeeze the knots with your hands or with a spatula to remove as much water as possible. This will allow the knots to absorb more of the sauce.
  • Adjust the spiciness to your taste. While this dish is not overly spicy, I recommend starting with half of the amount of chili pepper flakes and adding more to taste.
  • Double the sauce. If you want extra sauce to pour over rice or other grains, double the sauce!
  • Make it lighter. If you are watching your oil intake, you can decrease the amount of oil by one tablespoon. It won’t be as rich, but it’s still quite delicious!

💬 FAQ

What does Yuba taste like?

Yuba, just like tofu, has a very mild flavor. It doesn’t taste much on its own.

Can I freeze this dish?

Yes, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

How long do these bean curd knots keep?

You can keep the bean curds in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.

Close-up of bean curd knots in chili oil.

If you have never tried cooking with bean curd knots, I highly recommend giving it a try! This restaurant-worthy dish is easy to make and bursts a fantastic sweet-salty-spicy flavor that you won’t get enough of!

🥢 More Asian-Inspired Recipes

Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Note: This recipe was first published in 2019 and was updated on July 2023 with new photos and improved instructions.

Bean Curd Knots in Spicy Chili Oil
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Recipe
Tofu Skin Knots in Spicy Chili Oil

Bean Curd Knots in Spicy Chili Oil

5 from 17 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
These bean curd knots are sautéed in spicy and garlicky chili oil, and topped with toasted sesame seeds and scallions! Chewy and superbly seasoned, they pack over 20g of protein per serving!
Prep Time : 5 minutes
Cook Time : 30 minutes
Total Time : 35 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 346 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups dried bean curd knots (also called tofu skin knots)
  • 3 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger grated
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • for serving: pak choy, kale, chopped cilantro or green onions

Instructions
 

Cook the bean curd knots

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the dried bean curd knots and let it simmer for about 2 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and drain the knots. Press them with a spatula to remove excess water. Cover and set aside.

Chili oil

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and green onions. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until sesame seeds are golden brown.
  • Add the bean curd knots to the skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
  • Deglaze the pan with the soy sauce, lime juice, and maple syrup and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring regularly to coat the bean curd knots with the sauce. Remove from heat and top with more green onions.
  • Serve the spicy bean curd knots on top of rice, with sautéed greens on the side!
  • Bean curd knots will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. They can be enjoyed cold too.

Notes

  • Do not overcook the bean curd knots. Stop the cooking process as soon as the knots are tender. If you overcook them, they will unknot and may start to fall apart.
  • Drain them well. Make sure to squeeze the knots with your hands or with a spatula to remove as much water as possible. This will allow the knots to absorb more of the sauce.
  • Adjust the spiciness to your taste. While this dish is not overly spicy, I recommend starting with half of the amount of chili pepper flakes and adding more to taste.
  • Double the sauce. If you want extra sauce to pour over rice or other grains, double the sauce!
  • Make it lighter. If you are watching your oil intake, you can decrease the amount of oil by one tablespoon. It won’t be as rich, but it’s still quite delicious!

Nutrition

Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 346 kcal | Carbohydrates: 24.7 g | Protein: 21.3 g | Fat: 19 g | Fiber: 2.4 g | Sugar: 9.8 g
Course : Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine : Asian
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

Learn more ➜

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Your terminology is off here. Bean curd = tofu. Bean curd skin = yuba.

I bought some from a Chinese supermarket. The only English words on the packet were bean curd knots.

It was gorgeous. I added a bit of vegan chicken stock to the water then used the water to cook some rice in.

5 stars
Just made this turned out very good. Nice alternative to regular cubed tofu and noodles.

5 stars
Excellent Recipe. Do you have a source for Bean Curd Knots? I do not want to buy the quantity that is available on Amazon. Are there any sources that will sell 1 lb or 2 lb s? Thanks for your guidance

5 stars
Awesome recipe, thanks so much Thomas. I have just recently been enjoying dried bean curd and related recipes after learning from my yoga teacher. Such meals are so tasty and addictive!

Your chopstick etiquette is horrible. No Asian would stick their chopsticks in their food like this. It’s bad luck.

He’s not Asian. And your Social Etiquette is pretty bad

5 stars
Awesome! I’ve seen these knots at the grocery before and thought they looked cool, but had no idea what to do with them. I tried your recipe (without the maple because I’m cutting back on sugar) and love it! It’s a great meal to prepare in advance. Thanks for sharing 🙂

used to cook this a lot in China, I used to make myself sick off of these lol love them

5 stars
Bought these knots on a whim in a local supermarket without any idea of what to do with them. They just looked interesting! Your recipe was perfect. Really loved the flavours, and so straightforward. Thank you!

5 stars
Tried this today for lunch. So quick and easy, and tasty! I was able to find the dried bean curd knots in the giant aisle of Various Dried Things at the Asian market. Thanks for your recipes – you are one of the 4 main vegan blogs I go to on a regular basis. I don’t know why some people feel the need to be so critical on here but props to you for responding with grace.

5 stars
Came across this recipe when trying to work out what to do with dried bean curd (I’ve never used it!)

What a simple, amazing dish. I served it with broccolini and brown rice. Delish. Can’t wait to make it again.

5 stars
These taste amazing! Such a nice combination of flavours.
I used them to make gimbap but I can’t wait to have them with some greens on the side another time.
Thanks for a great recipe 🙂

think I can make this just with the folded skin? I think it was supposed to be used as immitation meat but to me the only difference is it’s not knotted.
The recipe looks too good not to try!

5 stars
yep I meant Yuba! so new to the tofu game! Thanks a bunch!

This was phenomenal!!! thank you for posting it 🙂

5 stars
Ok this may be weird but the first time I made this with yuba and just tied the knots myself the yuba was slightly past expiry and it worked out deliciously. Second time the yuba was within expiry more supple and it disintegrated in the boiling process! What a let down. I’m a tofu noob so just wondering do I boil fresher yuba less amount of time at a lower temp?

Thanks!

5 stars
Thank you for this recipe! I picked up the dried bean curd knots in the asian grocery store because they looked interesting. Your recipe was easy and everyone liked it! That doesn’t always happen when I cook with tofu/bean curd. haha

5 stars
Thanks for this, I purchased and needed guiding

5 stars
Amzing recipe! I love it.

5 stars
This is a new one for me. I’ll try it soon for my family.

5 stars
Loved it! So easy and so tasty. First time using bean curd knots and definitely won’t be the last.

5 stars
Absolutely delicious. The only things I did differently were substituting maple syrup with a little less white sugar, slightly salting the boiling water, and my knots too a LOT longer to cook, maybe about 20mins. They kind of annoy me so in the future I might just use bean curd sheets and cut them into smaller shapes. The sauce is divine and even the pan got licked clean, I’d eat this any day and it’s very easy to make.

5 stars
I always buy random things from the market that I’ve never tried and then search for a recipe. I enjoyed it very much. After the knots were pressed, I put them in a non-stick skillet with hot sesame oil (that I made) and browned them before adding the sauce. We loved it.