Healthier choice recipe: Soya bean curd dish

Eat light in the new year to offset the heavy meals of the festive season at the end of last year.

Substitute meat with soya bean curd for some dishes.

Soya bean curd is high in protein, like meat, but it contains much less fat, especially saturated fat.

When consumed, saturated fat is converted into low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, commonly called "bad" cholesterol, in the blood. This is then distributed through the blood to tissues to make hormones.

In excess, it is deposited on artery walls, narrowing the arteries and raising one's risk of developing heart disease and strokes.

Other good alternatives for meat which are high in protein and low in fat are beans, peas and pulses such as lentils.

To further reduce the amount of saturated fat, avoid oil that is high in saturated fat, such as ghee, butter and blended vegetable oil.

Instead, use oil that is low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fat, such as canola oil, olive oil and sunflower oil.

Unsaturated fat becomes high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol, in the blood. This helps the body get rid of bad cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Mr Yen Koh, the regional executive chef at the food solutions department of Unilever Singapore, has created a low-fat soya bean curd dish with the help of the Health Promotion Board (HPB).

His cold tofu (Japanese soya bean curd) with braised kinoko (Japanese mushroom) is among 150 healthy dishes that the HPB and several chefs came up with, either by adapting from existing recipes or developing from scratch.

Mr Koh said: "This is a fusion dish combining Chinese and Japanese elements."


Cold tofu with braised kinoko (mushroom) (Serves four)


2 tsp canola oil

20g garlic, minced

200g assorted types of kinoko (Japanese mushroom)

1 tsp dark soya sauce

2 tsp light soya sauce

5 tsp abalone sauce

1 box of silken tofu (Japanese soya bean curd)

2.5g spring onions, chopped

½ tsp fried shallots


In a pre-heated wok, add the oil and fry the garlic till it becomes fragrant.

Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for two minutes.

Season them with dark soya sauce, light soya sauce and abalone sauce. Taste and adjust the amount of these condiments if necessary.

Spoon the mushrooms over the cold tofu.

Garnish with the spring onions and fried shallots.

Drizzle half a teaspoon of the fried garlic oil over the dish.

Nutritional Information

(Per serving)

Energy: 94 calories

Protein: 6.6g

Total fat: 4.8g

Saturated fat: 0.8g

Cholesterol: 0mg

Carbohydrate: 7.1g

Dietary fibre: 1.6g

Sodium: 279mg


  • Heat oil till it becomes hot before stir-frying. This will shorten the cooking time and reduce the amount of oil absorbed by the ingredients.
  • Add more vegetables and fruit to dishes. They contain fibre, vitamins and beneficial plant substances called phytochemicals, which reduce the risk of some types of cancer.

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