• Sharon Rhys

Zhà Cài Wǔxiāng Dòufu Miàn

Sichuan Preserved Mustard and Five Spiced Tofu Noodle Soup (榨菜五香豆腐麵) is one of my favorite ways to enjoy zhà cài. This unassuming root vegetable that looks almost like a kohlrabi tastes bold and spicy once it has been pickled in salt and ground chili pepper.

Sauté this flavorful pickled vegetable with five spiced tofu and you'll have yourself a delicious stir-fry. This stir-fry can then be served with noodles, congee or even rice. The ingredients for this dish can be found in your local Asian grocery store. Otherwise, they can be found online too.



Makes: ~4 servings



7 – 8 cups water

560 gm Korean radish (peeled and roughly chopped)

6 large dried shitake mushrooms (rehydrated)

3 large organic carrot (scrubbed, washed and roughly chopped)

1 large onion (peeled and roughly chopped)

2 – 2½ cups cherry tomatoes

6” dashi kombu / kelp

2 tsp. mushroom seasoning

2 tsp. Sichuan peppercorn

salt to taste

black pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot/saucepan, add all broth ingredients except seasoning, Sichuan peppercorn, salt and black pepper.

  2. Bring to a boil. Once the contents are boiling, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for ~ 2 – 3 hours until all the ingredients are cooked through.

  3. After ~2 – 3 hours, add the mushroom seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

  4. Taste the broth. Add more seasoning if desired.

  5. Turn off the heat and let the broth cool.

  6. Once the broth has cooled, strain to remove all the solid ingredients.

  7. Strain with finely woven cotton cloth to obtain a clear broth.

  8. Set the broth aside. Use the solids as compost.


12 – 14 oz. wheat noodles (cooked according to the instructions on the package)


Main Ingredients

1½ tbsp. grapeseed oil

3 garlic cloves (minced)

4 dry red chili pepper

1 scallion (sliced, use white part only, reserve green part for garnish)

**10 oz. five spiced tofu (sliced – see Notes)

**10 – 11 oz. spicy zhà cài (see Notes)

Seasoning (mix well until well combined)

4 tsp. water

2 tsp. Shaoxing wine

1¼ tsp. Lee Kum Kee vegetarian stir-fry sauce

½ tsp raw cane sugar

½ tsp minced ginger


sesame oil

**chili oil (see Notes)



  1. In a large wok/skillet on medium heat, add the oil. Once the oil heats up, add the garlic, chili pepper and scallion. Sauté and stir often until fragrant.

  2. Next, add the tofu. Stir to combine and sauté for ~1 – 2 mins.

  3. Add the zhà cài. Stir to combine and sauté for ~1 – 2 mins.

  4. Then, add the seasoning. Stir to combine and sauté for ~3 – 4 mins.

  5. Turn off heat, dish up and set aside.


  1. Divide the cooked wheat noodles into 4 separate serving bowls.

  2. In each bowl, ladle hot broth over the noodles.

  3. Add a generous amount of zhà cài and dòufu stir-fry on top.

  4. Garnish with sesame oil, chili oil and sliced scallion.

  5. Serve immediately with additional sliced red chili pepper on the side if desired.


  • Prepared Five Spiced Tofu looks like this:

o https://www.naturesoy.com/5spicetofu

  • Prepared spicy zhà cài (preserved mustard) looks like this:

o https://www.mercato.com/item/zhacai-szechuan-pickled-radish/714443?featuredStoreId=1687

  • You can use any type of chili oil you like. The two I recommend are the following.

o https://www.yamibuy.com/en/p/laoganma-chili-oil-in-jar-210g/1021011511

o http://www.blankslatekitchen.com/products/sichuan-chili-oil/


Did you try this recipe?

If you did, let me know how it went. Don’t forget to tag your photo with #sncxkitchen when you share on Instagram.

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