Wensi Tofu – Extremely Thin Tofu Thread Soup

wensi tofu

Wensi Tofu (文思豆腐), originating from Yangzhou and Huai’an in Jiangsu Province, is a traditional and distinctive dish within the Huaiyang cuisine, a subset of Suzhou cuisine. Renowned for its rich history, meticulous ingredient selection, precise knife skills, and tender, melt-in-the-mouth texture, Wensi Tofu holds a special place in the culinary heritage of Jiangsu. Beyond its culinary appeal, this dish is also valued for its potential health benefits, such as addressing nutritional deficiencies and supporting overall well-being.

Ingredients:

  • Tofu (450 grams)
  • Winter bamboo shoots (10 grams)
  • Chicken breast (50 grams)
  • Ham (25 grams)
  • Fresh shiitake mushrooms (25 grams)
  • Lettuce (15 grams)
  • Salt (4 grams)
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) (3 grams)

Preparation Method:

  1. Tofu Preparation:
    • Slice the tofu into fine threads and blanch it in boiling water to remove any off-flavors.
  2. Vegetable Preparation:
    • Remove the stems from shiitake mushrooms, wash them, and cut them into fine threads.
    • Peel and wash winter bamboo shoots, cook until tender, and then cut them into fine threads.
    • Wash and cut lettuce leaves into fine threads.
  3. Meat Preparation:
    • Rinse the chicken breast with clean water, cook it until done, and then cut it into fine threads.
    • Cut the ham into fine threads.
  4. Mushroom Steaming:
    • Place the shiitake mushroom threads into a bowl, add 50 milliliters of chicken broth, and steam until cooked.
  5. Soup Base:
    • Place a pot on the stove, add 200 milliliters of chicken broth, bring it to a boil, and add shiitake mushroom threads, winter bamboo shoots, ham threads, chicken threads, and lettuce threads. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Transfer the soup to a serving bowl and add MSG.
  6. Tofu Cooking:
    • In another pot, bring 500 milliliters of chicken broth to a boil. Add the tofu threads and wait until they float to the surface. Use a ladle to transfer the tofu to the serving bowl with the prepared soup.

Wensi Tofu is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a visually appealing dish with its colorful assortment of ingredients. The delicate balance of flavors and textures, combined with the healthful properties of the various components, makes Wensi Tofu a cherished and iconic dish in the rich tapestry of Huaiyang cuisine.

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