Red-braised Tofu Skin Knots百叶结烧肉bǎi yè jié shāo ròu

FullSizeRenderTofu Skin Knots is widely known as bǎi yè jié (literally hundred-page knots) in southern regions of China.  Tofu skin is cut into strips, tied into knots and cooked with red-braised sauce resulting in a succulent, chewy and meaty texture of the final product. Inspired by a recent food tour to Taiwan, I gave the traditional recipe a twist by adding fresh and fragrant basil to balance the rich sauce of the hearty dish.

Serves 4-6

  • 250g       frozen Tofu skin豆腐皮
  • 250g       pork belly 五花肉, cut into strips of 5cm in length.
  • 1 tablespoon     cooking oil
  • 2-3 slices   ginger 姜片
  • 2 and ½ tablespoons      light soy sauce生抽酱油
  • 1 and ½ tablespoon        dark soy sauce老抽酱油
  • 1 tablespoon     rock sugar冰糖
  • 2 cups                   water
  • 1-2 sprigs            fresh basil 罗勒


  1. Cut the tofu skin into strips of 15cm in length and 5cm in width. Pick a strip. Hold the ends of the strip with your two hands, roll it up then tie into a knot. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Your tofu skin knots are going to be irregular and deformed. Just be careful when tying into knots. You may break a few strips depending on the quality and durability of your Tofu skin. Don’t throw the broken pieces away. Just cook them together with the knots.IMG_1125
  2. Place a tablespoon oil in a pot over medium high heat. Add into pork belly. Fry for a few minutes till meat turns white. Add ginger slices and cook for 1 minute. Pour into cooking wine and cook for another 2 minutes. Add into soy sauce, dark soy sauce and rock sugar. Cook for about 2 minutes. Turn to medium heat. Cook till pork is nicely browned. Stir into Tofu skin knots. Add 2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil. Then turn to low heat. Cover the pot. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes till it is soft to your taste. Stir every five minutes to avoid burning on the bottom. Stir into basil before serving.

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