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Chickpea Flour Tofu {soy-free, aka 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}
Yield: 1.25 lbs (567 g) / 4 servings

Chickpea Flour Tofu {Burmese Tofu}

Chickpea Flour Tofu {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!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

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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Barb

Friday 1st of April 2022

I made this for the first time the other day. I left it in frig overnight, then baked it at 400 degrees for 40 mins. It came out too soft, lacking firmness. Should I add less water when I make it? Thanks.

Camilla

Friday 1st of April 2022

Hi Barb, Oh no, I am sorry you had issues with the tofu. I have never baked this tofu. I usually stir-fry it or broil it (without oil, to brown it). Forty minutes at 400F sounds like a very long time, even for traditional extra-firm tofu. Were you trying to crisp it in cubes? Or in part of another dish?

Christy

Monday 7th of March 2022

Can this tofu be frozen?

Camilla

Friday 1st of April 2022

I have not had much success with freezing the tofu, sorry Christy.

jo

Tuesday 1st of February 2022

do you press it like soy tofu to release liquid before cooking

Camilla

Friday 1st of April 2022

Hi Jo, No, I do not recommend pressing it. Here is what I do recommend if you want it to be firmer: (1) the water will naturally drain out of the tofu the longer it sits, so it will be much firmer after a few days. That's the super-slow version. (2) Just recently, I started adding less water during cooking (about 1/3 cup less than the total amount I have listed). Ta-da! Thicker, firmer tofu as soon as it sets up :)

Tabia

Saturday 4th of December 2021

Thanks everso much for this recipe and your comments about water accumutlation; that has been the disappointing factor in other recipes tried. I'm also excited by your red lentil tofu recipe. Does it also release water? Both will be tried tomorrow. We've got to do what we can to save the chickens, right?

Camilla

Thursday 9th of December 2021

Hi Tabia! You are very welcome!

Yes, the lentil tofu will release water over a course of days ( a good way to vary the recipe for firmness). Cheers!

Lorenza

Saturday 28th of August 2021

Hi I would like to make silken tofu instead of firm tofu. Can you please explain how I should change the recipe for that?

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