Chinese Soy Food

Soy Food in Chinese Cuisine
There is much more to Chinese soy food than tofu, soy sauce and bean sprouts.

Tofu and soybeans on a wooden cutting board
Tofu and soybeans on a wooden cutting board. (Image: Stephen Jack)

The soybean is native to China, where soy food also originated. In Chinese cooking, whether as a food, drink, vegetable, imitation meat or condiment, soy is an important source of protein, and absolutely essential to the favour of Chinese cuisine. Here is a list of many of the fundamental soy food products (in English and Chinese).

Deep Fried Soy Milk Skim 炸豆皮 zhà dòu pí

Dried Tofu 豆腐乾 dòufu gān

Edamame (immature green soybeans) 毛豆 máodòu

Fermented Black Beans 豆豉 dòuchǐ

Fermented Tofu 豆腐乳 dòufurǔ

Frozen Tofu 冷涷豆腐 lěngdòng dòufu

Soybeans 黃豆, 大豆 huángdòu, dàdòu

Soybean Oil 黃豆油 huáng dòuyóu, 大豆油 dà dòuyóu

Soy ‘Meat’ (vegetarian meat, mock meat, textured soy protein) 素肉 sù ròu

Soy Milk (soybean milk) 豆漿 dòujiāng

Soy Milk Skim 豆皮 dòupí, 豆包 dòubāo

Soybean Paste 豆瓣醬 dòubànjiàng (The Sichuan version uses broad beans.)

Soybean Sprouts 黃豆芽菜 huáng dòuyá cài, 大豆芽菜 dà dòuyá cài

(Regular) Soy Sauce 醬油 jiàngyóu

(Dark) Soy Sauce (a thick liquid) 醬油膏 jiàngyóu gāo

Stinky Tofu (smelly tofu) 臭豆腐 chòudòufu

Tofu (bean curd) 豆腐 dòufu

Tofu Noodles 豆干絲 dòu gān sī  

‘Yellow Soybean Paste’ 黃豆醬 huángdòu jiàng

More information about Chinese soy products
Soy Story: the History of the Soybean – Eating China

Deliciously Malodorous: Chinese stinky tofu – Eating China

Soy Sauce: Everything You Need to Know – The Woks of Life

Tofu – How Products are Made

Types of Tofu – Tofupedia

Try these Chinese soy recipes 
Deep Fried Tofu

Chafing Dish Tofu