Compressed bean curd with pickled mustard green – 豆干芥菜

One of the many “Xiao Cai” you will find in Chinese restaurants. This recipe by Chef Eric lets us experience a wonderful combination of textures from the fried Tau Kwa, braised peanuts and the crispy Japanese cucumbers.

The rice vinegar based dressing makes it bright and appetising along with the fragrance from the toasted sesame seeds and oil. The original recipe also calls for chilli oil, depending on your preference. You can add 2 tbsp of it to the dressing.

This dish may be called a “Xiao Cai” but when paired with a bowl of Teochew porridge, makes for a simple and comforting meal. Furthermore, it keeps well in the fridge, and gets even more flavourful the next day.

Recipe adapted from “The Little Teochew Cookbook” by ERIC LOW Copyright@ Marshall Cavendish International.

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  • Servings: 2

  • Time: 15 min

  • Skill: Easy


  1. 60g pickled mustard greens (gong chye)

  2. oil for deep-frying

  3. 2 pcs compressed bean curd (Tau Kwa)

  4. 100g braised peanuts

  5. 2 Japanese cucumbers

  6. 1 red chilli (sliced)

  7. 2 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds

  8. Dressing

  9. 2 tbsp sugar

  10. 4 tbsp rice vinegar

  11. 1 tbsp chopped garlic

  12. 3 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Cut Japanese cucumbers into 2cm cubes

  2. Cut compressed bean curd (Tau Kwa) into 2cm cubes

  3. Heat sufficient oil in a wok, deep-fry compressed bean curd (Tau Kwa) till golden brown

  4. Add fried bean curd, braised peanuts, cucumbers and sliced red chillies to mixing bowl

  5. To Make dressing, add 1 tbsp chopped garlic, 2 tbsp sugar, 4 tbsp rice vinegar, 3 tbsp sesame oil and mix well

  6. Pour dressing into the salad, toss evenly and allow it to chill for 1 hour

  7. Garnish with 2 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds

  8. Serve with Teochew porridge