Silken Tofu With Spicy Sausage Recipe


There are many homey Chinese recipes based on simply steaming silken-style tofu and topping it with a simple sauce of sautéed meat with a light gravy. I wondered what would happen if I replaced that meat with some spicy Italian-style sausage from my local American supermarket. It works shockingly well.

Why this recipe works:

  • Soaking dried shiitake mushrooms in water and using that mushroom water as a sauce ingredients gives it an instant flavor boost.
  • Traditionally, plain minced pork would need to be marinated for hours to infused with flavor. By using store-bought sausage, the flavor comes already packed in.

Note: It's important to use soft silken tofu for this recipe and to handle it very gently so that it doesn't break apart.

Recipe Details

Silken Tofu With Spicy Sausage Recipe

Active 25 mins
Total 25 mins
Serves 2 servings


  • 5 whole dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 1/2 cup boiling water

  • 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage (about 2 links), removed from casings and crumbled

  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 (20-ounce) box soft silken tofu

  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 scallion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

  • Steamed white rice for serving


  1. Combine dried mushrooms and boiling water in a small bowl. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms, squeeze out excess liquid (reserving all liquid), and slice. Set aside mushrooms and liquid.

  2. Combine sausage with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and sugar. Set aside.

  3. Place a steamer insert into a large Dutch oven and fill with 1 inch of water. Bring to a simmer. Upend tofu onto a shallow plate and carefully drain off excess water. Place plate in steamer, cover, and allow tofu to steam until hot, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from steamer, carefully pour or spoon off excess water, tent with foil, and set aside.

  4. Combine reserved mushroom liquid, remaining 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, remaining teaspoon soy sauce, oyster sauce, and cornstarch in a small bowl and mix with a fork to combine. Set aside. Heat sausage and sliced mushrooms in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up sausage, until just starting to turn golden brown, about 3 minutes. Re-stir sauce mixture then pour into skillet and heat, stirring, until thickened, about 1 minute.

  5. Uncover tofu and pour sauce over it. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro and serve with white rice on the side.

Special equipment

Skillet, steamer

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
725 Calories
38g Fat
58g Carbs
43g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 725
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 48%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 1452mg 63%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 43g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 355mg 27%
Iron 6mg 32%
Potassium 840mg 18%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)