0 (0)

Appetizers, Fish and Shellfish, Quick and Easy

'Pile of Gold' tofu stuffed with shrimp

'Pile of Gold' tofu stuffed with shrimp
Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Two hours before the Chinese New Year party they were hosting last year, Leeann and Katie Chin stopped at a red light on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and were reviewing the menu for the evening. To begin with, firecracker shrimp, chicken ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Makes 16 pieces

Tofu and shrimp

  • 2 (14-ounce) cartons firm tofu, drained
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 small egg white
  • Dash white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 cups oil
  • Gravy
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

Step 1Cut each block of tofu into 8 (1 1/2 x3/4-inch) squares. Scoop tofu from the center of each square so there's a hole in the middle, and reserve the scooped-out tofu. Set the tofu squares upside-down on a cloth to drain the excess water.

Step 2Place the water in a bowl and add 2 teaspoons of the salt; stir to dissolve. Place the shrimp in the salt water and swirl. Leave the shrimp in the salt water for 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water and drain. Pat dry on paper towels to remove the excess water. Using a sharp knife or food processor, mash the shrimp to a paste. Blend with the egg white, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, sesame oil and cornstarch.

Step 3With a fork, mash half of the scooped-out tofu and add to the shrimp mixture. Put a little less than a teaspoon of the mixture in each square of tofu. Repeat until all the pieces are filled.

Step 4Heat the oil in a deep-sided pan (so the oil doesn't boil over from the excess moisture in the tofu) to 350 degrees. Add 1 piece of tofu at a time to prevent them from sticking together. Do not overcrowd the pan. Deep-fry 1 to 2 pieces at a time. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels when done. Pour the Gravy over the tofu and garnish with the green onion.


  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

Step 1Mix the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl.

Step 2Bring the chicken broth and oyster sauce to a boil in a small saucepan and add the cornstarch mixture. Stir until thickened, about 1 minute, then remove from the heat.

Note: Use a deep enough pan or wok to deep-fry. Tofu contains a lot of water, and spattering can occur. We recommend frying 1 to 2 pieces at a time to maintain high heat. This dish is referred to as "Pile of Gold" and is often served for Chinese New Year banquets.


Braised Romano beans with pancetta and cherry tomatoes
Braised Romano beans with pancetta and cherry tomatoes

Nook Bistro's Caesar salad
Nook Bistro's Caesar salad

Charlotte misu
Charlotte misu

Corn Dogs
Corn Dogs

Have a specific question about a recipe or found a problem? Let us know at food@latimes.com

More recipes in Appetizers

Crispy apple wings with fresh horseradish and curly parsley
Wax bean Nicoise with bottarga and Cetara anchovy crostone
Beet-potato latkes with horseradish-caraway creme fraiche
Pasta latkes