Tofu with Dried Shrimp Roes | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Tofu with Dried Shrimp Roes

Tofu with Dried Shrimp Roes

Like most bottled dried shrimps roes, the ones used for making this (蝦子豆腐) are eggs of shrimps already refined in food factory. Although they are no longer alive, still, they have a ‘behavior’.

At low temperature, that is, when the dried shrimps roes are well-kept in fridge, insignificant is their aroma. Yet, once enough heat is applied to them, their aroma floats. To trigger their behavior, I therefore cook them with a ‘white wok’ first.

‘White wok’ (白鑊) in Chinese cooking is the way to cook or to heat foods with an un-oiled wok. As the roes become more aromatic, at the same time, their fishy smell may grow as well. To mask the unpleasant flavor, therefore, they are always seasoned with ginger and wine.

Dried Shrimp Roes

To cook this, simply mix the heated dried roes into the sauce and briefly simmer with tofu, and you are done. Either firm or soft tofu can be used for making this dish, compare the cooked tofu here with this one, and you shall see the difference between the two (in maintaining its own shape).

The dried shrimps though already refined are usually unseasoned. If you swallow a small pinch of them in your mouth directly from the bottle, you may find them taste slightly umami, carrying some fishy smells at times. If a recipe suggests adding dried shrimp roes directly to other ingredients without reheating or further cooking, do check out their taste first just to make sure that the whole dish will not be ruined. It is not necessarily that recipe is incorrect; chances are that shrimp eggs are of very different qualities.

Dried Shrimp Roes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 blocks firm tofu (beancurd), ~200g, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tsp dried shrimp roe
  • 1 tsp finely sliced spring onions
  • Salt water
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ginger juice
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • salt to taste
  • Thickening
  • 1/4 tsp potato flour or cornstarch
  • 2 tsp water

Tofu with Dried Shrimp Roes


Bring salt water to the boil. Turn to low heat, add cubed tofu. When water boils again, poach tofu for another minute. Remove from heat and drain.

Over low heat, in an un-oiled wok or pan, add in shrimp roes. Constantly turn and stir them with a turner for about a minute, or until fragrant.

Combine ingredients (except wine and salt) for cooking sauce and add to the heated shrimp roes in wok It is normal if the roes are lumped together as there are oil in the sauce. After tofu is added later, they shall cling to the cubes as you stir and assemble them with the sauce..

Give the sauce a few stirs while heating. As sugar is dissolved, gently add in tofu. Sprinkle wine in a circular motion on the heated surfaces of wok.

As the sauce comes to a boil, push tofu sideway. Mix well potato flour with water and thickening the sauce.

Assemble the sauce with tofu and add salt to taste. Dish up and garnish with spring onion; serve hot.


Where to find dried shrimp roes?

Look for the condiment or dried food section in larger supermarkets. Or, in shops where shrimp roe noodles are available, try to ask them if they sell dried shrimp roes as well. I sometimes find them in grocery stores selling Shanghainese foods.

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  1. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    The aroma of dried shrimp roes is very attractive to some people.
    Pairing it with tofu is very clever. Love it.

  2. Mei Teng

    Lovely dish. I love almost any style of tofu dishes.

  3. sensiblecooking

    Dried shrimp roes.I have never tried that before, actually didn’t even know it existed. The dish looks amazing, good way to introduce shrimp roe.

  4. Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    I’ve never had dried shrimp roes. I’d love to have them one day

  5. Tastes of Home (Jen)

    I have not cooked with shrimp roe before but this sounds like a dish I would love!

  6. penny aka jeroxie

    it definitely have unami. I did not know dry roast in wok is white wok… learn something new everyday 🙂

  7. Angie's Recipes

    A gourmet tofu dish! Cantonese cuisine, esp. its stir-fries, emphasizes on 鑊气...

  8. tigerfish

    Dried shrimp roes? New to me but maybe I can grind some Jap dried ebi to powder and make something similar. Just a wild thought, as I love the umami of this dish.

  9. TasteHongKong

    Right, dried shrimp is another food that delivers umami taste. I like to have the Japanese dried ebi added directly onto rice.

  10. Lisa H.

    This is new to me too… very interesting… your tofu looks so yummy 🙂

  11. Juliana

    Oh! So interesting this tofu dish…never had tofu cooked this way…it sure look so tasty. Thanks for sharing such a yummie recipe 🙂

  12. noobcook

    I’m acquainted with dried shrimp roe when I tried the roe noodles in Hong Kong. Loved it. Your dish brings back fond memories. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! ♥

  13. TasteHongKong

    @noobcook, everyone,
    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too!

  14. Mary Moh

    I have never heard of dried shrimp roes before. Sounds very interesting to me. Wonder how it tastes like. But it does give character to your tofu dish. Wishing you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  15. Tastes of Home (Jen)

    Dropping by again to wish you merry christmas and happy holidays!