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Chả Hấp Chay | Steamed Tofu Pâté

Chả Hấp Chay (steamed tofu pâté) is a vegetarian take on the classic Vietnamese chả trứng hấp, which is a steamed egg meatloaf with ground pork. This meatless version is composed of tofu, onions, wood ear mushrooms, beanthread noodles, and fermented tofu, which imparts a satifying umami flavor. The steamed tofu dish is vegetarian and vegan friendly and best enjoyed with a side of steamed white rice and sautéed greens.
Servings 2
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins


  • 250 g firm tofu
  • ½ handful dried beanthread noodles
  • ½ tbsp dried woodear mushrooms
  • ½ carrot, julienned
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • ½ tbsp fermented bean curd
  • ¼ tsp salt (+/- to taste)
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tbsp tapioca flour
  • ½ tbsp annatto seed oil


  • In separate bowls, soak the beanthread noodles and woodear mushrooms in warm water. Once softened, drain the mushrooms and noodles and roughly chop them.
  • Thoroughly drain the tofu from its liquid and place into a bowl. With a spoon, mash the tofu until it takes on a smooth, paste-like texture. Then, place the tofu in a cheesecloth and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  • Return the tofu to a bowl and combine with the diced shallots, carrots, beanthread noodles, fermented bean curd, corn starch, salt, sugar, and pepper. Mix until it becomes a homogenous mixture, and add any additional salt if necessary. Transfer the mixture into a cocotte dish, spreading it evenly and pressing firmly into the dish. Steam for 20 minutes.
  • While it is steaming, prepare the glaze topping by mixing 1 tablespoon of water with the tapioca flour and annatto seed oil. After 20 minutes of steaming, pour the glaze mixture evenly over the surface and continue steaming for another 6-7 minutes. Once the tofu pâté cools, the glaze topping will set.


I usually serve this dish with steamed white rice and dip each bite in a mixture of fish sauce + a squeeze of lime juice + chopped bird’s eye chilis. Those who prefer a purely vegetarian or vegan version can dip it in soy sauce mixed with chili peppers instead of fish sauce.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Keyword: Steamed, Tofu, Vegetarian