I consider this the tofu connoisseur’s breakfast. It’s a set-in-the-pan soy milk custard, warm and savory, as soft as a cloud, surrounded by a clear broth flavored with soy whey as it sets. You might have previously tried the sweet version with ginger and brown sugar syrup, popular in Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Dou hua 豆花 (literally 'bean bloom') is made by pouring hot fresh soy milk into a dish containing a coagulant (usually gypsum - calcium sulfate) and dissolved corn starch. The starch gives duo hua its silken, just-set texture. After a few minutes, the tofu 'blooms', setting in the centre of the bowl in a quivering flower surrounded by yellow whey.
Dou hua is very delicate, scooped gently into a bowl to eat with a spoon. The flavour is subtle and mild, but this is a dish you enjoy for its soft, silky texture. Choose toppings like finely trimmed scallions, la jiao, or tiny dried white shrimp for a texture contrast.
It's a popular breakfast food across Shanghai, usually from the same vendors who sell hot soy milk drinks and you tiao fried bread sticks. Definitely worth a try on a winter morning!
Shanghai Street Foods - The Complete Guide:
Number 3 Liangpi - a spicy cold noodle dish
Number 4 Langzhou Lamian - hand-pulled noodles
Number 5 Cong You Bing - fried shallot pancakes
Number 6 Baozi - steamed buns, Shanghai style
Number 7 Jian Bing - the famous egg pancake
Number 14 Bao Mi Hua - exploding rice flowers
Number 16 Bing Tang Shan Zha - crystal sugar hawthorns
Number 21 Suzhou Shi Yue Bing - homestyle mooncakes
Number 22 Gui Hua Lian'ou - honeyed lotus root stuffed with sticky rice
Number 23 Cong You Ban Mian - scallion oil noodles
Number 25 Nuomi Cai Tou - fried clover pancakes
Number 26 Da Bing, Shao Bing - sesame breakfast pastries
Number 27 Ci Fan - sticky rice breakfast balls
Number 28 Gui Hua Gao - steamed osmanthus cake
Number 29 Zongzi - bamboo leaf wrapped sticky rice
Number 31 Mala Tang - DIY spicy soup
Number 32 Salt and Pepper Fried Chicken
Number 33 San Xian Doupi - Three Delicacies Wrapped in Tofu Skin
Labels: China, Chinese street food, food, Shanghai, street food