Tofu Noodle Potage, a Chinese Vegetarian Soup | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Tofu Noodle Potage, a Chinese Vegetarian Soup

Tofu Noodle Potage, a Chinese Vegetarian Soup

In the older days, this was a dish falls into the vegetarian category because the man who invented this dish was a monk, named Men See. To prepare, he skillfully sliced a fist-sized tofu into hair-thin shreds, said to be close to a thousand cuts, and added to a soup consisted of black moses (fat choy 髮菜). And the dish has been called Men See Tofu Potage 文思豆腐羹.

This is a smooth soup yet nothing is pureed. Like most Chinese potage, it is thickened with water chestnut powder, but I suppose you may substitute it with corn starch.

Nowadays, there are different adapted versions, mostly made up of a mixture of ingredients including both vegetables and meats. The one I have here perhaps is the simplest: only tofu, dried laver are used. I’m not skillful enough to make several hundred cuts out of my piece of tofu, but my thicker shreds have too contributed a silky texture to the soup.

Tofu Noodle Potage, a Chinese Vegetarian Soup

Shredded ginger (optional) to me is a great complement to the flavor of laver. I even drop a few of of them over the soup as it is cooked, wanting to taste the fresh aroma along with some crunchy texture.

Hubby is not a fan of laver, still, he likes this. And I could actually see him enjoy slurping down the noodle-like tofu. That is why I like naming this as Tofu Noodles.

Thinly Sliced Soft Tofu
Shredded Soft Tofu

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pc soft/silken tofu, ~200g
  • 1g dried laver (seaweed)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or meat stock for non-vegetarian)
  • 1 tbsp shredded ginger, optional
  • 1 tbsp shredded spring onion
  • 2 tsp water chestnut powder, add 1-2 tbsp water to mix into a paste
  • Seasonings
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • pinch of ground white pepper
  • salt to taste

Dried Laver or Seaweed


Re-hydrate dried laver with water, for about 10 minutes, or until soften. Briefly rinse, drain.

Slice tofu into blocks of about 2 cm thick (this thickness is easier for thin slicing). Slice them as thin as possible. Allow each slice of tofu lay flat and stack one another but not aligning completely – such would make later shredding easier. As the tofu block becomes too thin after several slicing, lay it flat, and slice it horizontally than vertically (be careful with your knife). Then julienne the stack of tofu slice.

In a pot, add stock, re-hydrated laver, half of the julienned ginger, and bring them to a boil. Stir in water chestnut paste, about a spoon at a time, to your desired consistency. Then bring the soup to the boil again. Season with sugar, sesame oil, and ground white pepper. Regular heat to a simmer. Gently put in tofu shreds, simmer briefly, add green onion, remaining ginger and salt to taste.

Serve hot.

Tofu Noodle Potage, a Chinese Vegetarian Soup


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  1. noobcook

    love the idea of “tofu noodles”. this is the first time I heard of this dish, and you presented it beautifully 🙂

  2. Mary Moh

    That looks very light, healthy and delicious. My gosh, you cut the tofu so skilfully! Your tofu looks like noodles! No wonder the name. Thank very much for sharing. Hope you have a great weekend.

  3. Lori

    Oh wow, I had no idea that was tofu. I thought it was noodles! What an artistic dish. It sounds delicious. Thanks for your note on the blog, I’m working on the right column. 🙂

  4. JulieC

    I can’t believe that’s tofu! It’s a beautiful dish you made, I’m getting hungry just looking at it. I hope I can cook Chinese/asian dishes like you (from browsing your recipes you are talented)…Again, thanks for posting!

  5. mycookinghut

    Very interesting, light and healthy soup. Love it!

  6. tigerfish

    Another soup that is light, refreshing and very enticing to me! I want to make this too, if only I could slice the tofu that way….:O

  7. TasteHongKong

    Not much skills as I didn’t do it fast and thin as chefs do. I simply slice it gently : ).

  8. Lucy L

    delicious!!! can’t wait to try this at home, i get so excited by your recipes! so homey yet so simple 🙂

  9. Shirataki Noodles to have this dish. !!

  10. lena

    a thousand cut on a piece of tofu?’s really kungfu master!! though you didnt make a thousand cuts, i see that you still manage to slice it up so thinly and nice!