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Chickpea Flour Tofu (soy-free, a.k.a. Burmese Tofu)

Chickpea flour tofu (also known as Burmese tofu or shan tofu) is made with ease and is 100% soy-free. It is high-protein, grain-free, vegan, versatile, and so delicious!
chickpea flour tofu cubes on a grey plate with chopped herbs

The New Tofu: Chickpea Flour Tofu 

I thought I was done with tofu.

I never liked it as an entrée, and I could always detect the flavor when it was used in creamy desserts or as an egg substitute. And don’t get me started about the cheap soy protein isolate that is thrown into some energy and protein bars. Soy just isn’t my thing.

Then, in the early days of my love affair with chickpea flour, I learned of Burmese tofu. It’s made from chickpea flour. It’s 100% soy-free. It’s fast and easy to make. It’s high in protein & fiber and low in calories.

And it’s incredibly delicious.

close-up of Burmese tofu (made with chickpea flour) on a grooved metal plate

What is Burmese Tofu (aka Chickpea Flour Tofu)? 

In short, Burmese tofu–also known as chickpea flour tofu, shan tofu, and tòhú–is the meatless, soy-free, main-dish protein we’ve all been waiting for.

Ingredients for Chickpea Flour Tofu

Here is the ingredient list to put this recipe in action:

  1. Chickpea flour
  2. Water
  3. Salt
  4. Ground turmeric (traditional, but not required)

You will also need about 10 minutes of cooking time, followed by some unattended waiting time.

Then invert the slab of tofu onto a cutting board, cut into cubes, slabs, triangles, or any shape you like. It’s a perfect protein snack as is (it keeps in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks), or you can use it in any savory recipe that calls for firm or extra-firm tofu. Fried in a bit of oil, or oven-fried on a sheet pan (the first two pics are oven -fried with a spritz of oil–450F for about 12 minutes), it is positively swoon-worthy.

slab of homemade tofu made with chickpea flour (Burmese tofu) on a piece of slate

What is the Texture of Chickpea Flour Tofu?

Don’t like the squishy, squelchy texture of soy tofu? Me neither, and chickpea tofu has none of it. Instead the texture is like velvet: gently firm, yet melt-in-your-mouth creamy.

Chickpea tofu holds together beautifully in stir-fries. If you would like the texture extra-firm, simply wait an extra day or two before using it.  The tofu releases water a it sits, so it will become firmer the longer you wait.

What is the Flavor of Chickpea Flour Tofu?

As mentioned, the turmeric is optional, but the subtle, mysterious flavor it adds is addictive; it’s also what lends the tofu it’s distinctive golden hue (although, for me, it happily shouts “I am not soy tofu!”).

You can add other spices and herbs to your heart’s content–think Thai curry paste, chopped fresh cilantro, grates fresh ginger…oh the possibilities! Simply stir in the flavors of your choice before spreading the mixture into the pan.

Excited? You should be! Chickpea flour tofu is truly a game changer. Happy eats, everyone!

  1. Acorn Squash & Burmese Tofu Sheet Pan Dinner {vegan, high-protein}
  2. Vegan Oat Mushroom Ground Beef {Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free}
  3. Sweet Potato Kale Chickpea Flour Frittata {vegan, soy-free}
  4. Chocolate Chickpea Flour Muffins {vegan, grain-free}
  5. Basic Vegan Chickpea Flour Muffins {grain-free, oil-free}
Chickpea Flour Tofu {Burmese Tofu}

Chickpea Flour Tofu {Burmese Tofu}

Yield: 1.25 lbs (567 g) / 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Chickpea flour tofu (also known as Burmese tofu or shan tofu) is made with ease and is 100% soy-free. It is high-protein, grain-free, vegan, versatile, and so delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120 g) chickpea flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cups (750 mL) water, divided

Instructions

  1. Grease or spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the chickpea flour, salt, turmeric and 1 and 1/2 cups (375 mL) of the water until blended and smooth.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1-1/2 cups water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the chickpea mixture. Cook, whisking constantly, for 6 to 10 minutes, until the mixture is very thick and glossy. Immediately pour and scrape it into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  4. Cool the tofu to room temperature and then place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours until very firm (or up to 5 days).
  5. Drain any water from the pan (water will release from the tofu as it sets); invert the tofu onto a cutting board. Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes or any desired shape.
  6. Serve plain as a snack, fry or bake (spritz with oil) for a tasty appetizer, or use in any recipe calling for soy tofu (I love it in stir-fries, or for making "egg" salad sandwiches)

Notes

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (the longer it sits, the firmer it will get as water continues to drain off)

Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1/4 of entire recipe (about 1 and 1/4 cups)
Amount Per Serving Calories 121Total Fat 1.5gSaturated Fat 0.3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 532mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 5gSugar 1gProtein 5.1g

Did you make this recipe?

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Tamara

Sunday 4th of February 2024

Greetings! I had great success with red lentils. Loved the result. Less so with the chickpea flour. Didn’t love the taste. I will next try the back bean and will look for baby Lima beans. Thanks for these fabulous recipes!

Camilla

Sunday 4th of February 2024

You are very welcome Tamara!

Divya

Monday 29th of January 2024

My first try was a fail, but I realized I used expired besan flour (6 months past the date). While it all seemed to come together properly, if not a tad mushy, it was such a strong, raw taste of grass I think. Sharing this in case anyone gets this taste profile, as flour can go bad before the expiration date, too.

But I am not sure I used the right amount of water, because my food scale weighed 750ml of water as being much less than 3 cups (750ml) on the measuring cup. Camilla, do you weigh or use a measuring cup?

Camilla

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Hi Divya,

Oh no, that has happened to me, as well (using an expired flour without realizing it , and it had gone rancid to some degree or another). I hope you will give it another try.

With regard to water: I use a liquid measuring cup (which round off measurements; 250mL is shown on the American liquid measuring cup as 1 cup). I think what might have you confused is that mL refers to volume, not weight. So when I have listed a liquid in mL, I am using a measuring cup, not a scale. I hope this helps!

Alex

Sunday 21st of January 2024

This turned out great! Thank you for the recipe! I used black Himalayan salt instead of regular salt for that eggy sulphury flavor.

Camilla

Tuesday 23rd of January 2024

Yay! So glad you enjoyed it, Alex! Ooh, I love black salt (I put it on popcorn, too--my husband and teenaged son think I am a nut, but they are the ones missing out!). Enjoy!

Donna

Thursday 7th of December 2023

This turned out great! I can't wait to try the red lentil recipe next

Camilla

Monday 11th of December 2023

Yay! So glad to hear it, Donna!

Rosemary

Sunday 20th of August 2023

This stuff is great! Good cold or warm, and very versatile. I keep a paper towel on top of the dish, plus I add a folded paper towel wedged on the side of the dish, to absorb excess water. I usually wait two days before making the typical cubes.

Camilla

Monday 21st of August 2023

I’m so glad you like it, Rosemary! Thank you, too, for sharing your storage method. ????

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