Blink and you’ll miss it – Steamed Tofu in Oyster-Soy Sauce

Today is a proud day for me. I finally crossed something off my to-do list. In your face, procrastination!! About two months ago, my husband asked me for the photos I had taken of the kids with my phone. Photos dating back to February. Yikes! Today, I finally did it. I went through my photo library and sorted out which photos to pass to him, i.e. photos of the kids, and which he didn’t need, i.e. my food photos, selfies and the baby’s poop. Throughout the 2 hour-long process, I found myself repeating the same thought in my head over and over again, almost like a mantra.

“When did they get so big?? And how did I not notice it??”


They weren’t kidding when they say children grow up so fast. Blink and you’ll miss it. It didn’t seem like it was that long ago when we first brought Alana home from the hospital. Now she’s fighting me in the mornings about which dress she wants to wear and how many necklaces she needs to match it (she doesn’t believe in “less is more”). 

And then there’s Philip. There were movies of him just randomly walking around the house and it took me a while to realise why I made those movies. They were of his first steps!! I had totally forgotten all about it!! Now he’s sprinting up stairs and climbing up stools like they were Mount Everest.


Now that he’s become such a daredevil, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to cook with him around. There have been times when I wished I were a chameleon so I could literally keep one eye on the food and one eye on him. Thank God for playpens! Most days I stick him in the playpen for that hour when I’m making lunch or dinner. He has his toys, books and music and I know he’s in a safe place. But there are days when he would refuse to stay in there. What do I do? On days like that, I don’t have a choice but to make something super easy. I’ve since gathered quite a collection of such recipes and I’m going to share one with you today.

Steamed Tofu with Oyster-Soy Sauce

I first had this dish when I was 15 (? Maybe?).  I remember it was on a shopping trip my Mum and I took to Johor Bahru. She took me to this seafood restaurant that was a turn and half away from the end of the world. To me anyway. A couple of months later I wanted to find that restaurant again while on a trip with my then boyfriend. We gave up after a half hour and decided to go to a restaurant he knew to be good. It turned out to be the same restaurant. I know right. Never heard the end of it. Anyway, back to the dish. My mum ordered enough food to feed an army but it was this one dish that made an impression. I can’t remember any  of the other dishes. When I decided to try to re-create it, I searched online for sometime before deciding on this one. I haven’t made many changes to it except that I steam the tofu and leave out the frying bit. I won’t deny that it is a different, if not better, dish when made with the garlic and shallots. But with Philip running around playing Edmund Hillary¹, it’s a choice between a simpler dish or a burnt dish.  Still, it tastes heavenly, is ready in 15 minutes and the kids love it. You can see why this is a keeper.

Steamed Tofu with Oyster-Soy Sauce

Steamed Tofu in Oyster-Soy Sauce

Adapted from House of Annie


  • 1 14-16 oz block of silken tofu
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce*
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp kecap manis
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame seed
  • chopped spring onions
  • fried shallot


  • In a small bowl, mix together oyster sauce, soy sauce, kecap manis and sesame oil. Set aside.
  • Carefully remove Tofu from its packaging and place in a heatproof dish. Steam for 10 minutes.
  • When Tofu is ready, pour sauces over Tofu. Sprinkle sesame seed over tofu and top generously with spring onions, fried shallots.

*For a vegetarian version, use vegetarian stir-fry sauce

¹First climber to reach summit of Mount Everest

2 thoughts on “Blink and you’ll miss it – Steamed Tofu in Oyster-Soy Sauce

    1. Thanks for the recipe! Your “tau you bak” was one of the first things I cooked when I was homesick for granny’s cooking. So really you guys are my heroes 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back often.


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