Burmese tofu

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To hpu (Burmese tofu), in two forms: fresh and fritters

Burmese tofu (Burmese: တိုဖူး; IPA: [tòpʰú] or [tòhú]) is a food of Shan origin and is different from Chinese tofu in that it is not made from soy milk and not set with a coagulant. Shan tofu is produced in a similar fashion to polenta, with its primary ingredient being water and flour ground from yellow split peas and the Burmese version from chickpea flour, also known as besan flour.[1] The flour is mixed with water, turmeric, and a little salt and heated, stirring constantly, until it reaches a creamy consistency. It is then transferred into a tray and allowed to set. It is matte yellow in colour, jelly-like but firm in consistency, and does not crumble when cut or sliced. It may be eaten fresh as a salad or deep fried. It may also be sliced and dried to make crackers for deep frying.

Varieties and etymology[edit]

To hpu gyauk (Burmese tofu crackers) are sold in bundles ready for deep frying.

There is no /f/ (as in "French") in the Burmese language; hence, /pʰ/ (as in the word "pot") is used in to hpu, the Burmese version of "tofu".



To hpu gyaw (Burmese tofu fritters) are popular as snacks on their own, with glutinous rice for breakfast, or as a salad.

Fried tofu goes very well with kau hnyin baung (glutinous rice) as a breakfast option, and also with mohinga (rice vermicelli in fish soup) or rice noodles called hsan hkauk swè, especially Shan hkauk swè. Green tea is the preferred traditional drink to go with all these in Burma.


Hnapyan gyaw or "twice fried " Shan tofu fritters served with a side salad at Inle Lake



  1. ^ Also called gram flour, besan flour is made from chana dal (also called kala chana or Bengal gram), a type of small, dark-colored chickpea also used in Indian cuisine).

See also[edit]

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