Sanbeiji Tofu
20 MIN
20 MIN

Sanbeiji Tofu


  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) water
  • 2 cups (300 g) sweet potato, peeled and sliced into rounds ½ inch (1 cm) thick, then each round cut into 4
  • 2 cups (260 g) carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds ½ inch (1 cm) thick
  • 1 white turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch (1 cm) wedges
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing) or sake
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) sambal oelek
  • 1 block (1 lb/450 g) firm tofu, cut into 4 large cubes, then into slices ½ inch (1 cm) thick
  • ½ cup (15 g) Thai basil leaves


  1. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Set aside.
  2. In a large, deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the vegetables in the oil until golden. Add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and sambal oelek. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Increase the heat slightly. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and let boil for a few seconds until the sauce has thickened. Add the tofu and toss with a spoon to coat in the sauce. Cover. Turn off of the heat and let sit for 2 minutes to warm the tofu. Add the basil and serve immediately. Serve with white rice, if desired.


This recipe was inspired by sanbeiji chicken, a traditional Southern Chinese dish.