More akin to polenta than tofu, Burmese tofu (to hpu or tohu) is a sturdy non-coagulated cousin of soya tofu that is made from gram or besan flour. This variation of traditional bean curd isn’t subject to the same fragility, with no need for pressing nor draining, and it’s not going to crumble when you so much as look in its general direction. Plus Burmese tohu is not only gluten free but also free from soy, and so you’re covered if you’ve got those allergies.
If you’re anti lumps in any form (I’m not, and I don’t think you’ll notice anyway unless they’re Texas big), you can sift the flour. If you’re feeling particularly pedantic, you might even sieve the thick porridge while still warm.
But don’t. It’s a lot of unnecessary work and who has time for that?
Stay tuned for more recipes using this staple Burmese ingredient!
- Grease a small rectangular heat proof dish (mine is a deep 19cm stoneware dish).
- Whisk the flour, salt and turmeric together in a medium sized bowl. Add 300 millilitres of the water as well as the oil and whisk into a uniform slurry. Try to get as many lumps out as possible, but a few baby lumps are fine.
- Bring the remaining 400 millilitres of water to the boil in a medium saucepan and pour the flour slurry in, whisking the whole time. Continue to whisk for about 30 seconds before turning the heat down to medium low. At this point the mixture will thicken considerably and, unless you’re trying to build your arm muscles, you’ll want to switch to a wooden spoon for stirring.
- Keep at the stirring for between 5-7 minutes. The contents of the saucepan will have the consistency not dissimilar to cooked polenta and will develop a slight sheen. Pour into the greased pan and leave to cool for 1 hour before refrigerating.
- Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least one hour before use, but overnight will yield the most firm texture.