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Jul 6, 2011 05:04 PM

Soy Bean Chan – Awesome Salty Silky Tofu (Xian Dou Fu)

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Soy Bean Chan is a place I love, I basically always stop here when I’m in Flushing. It specializes in soy bean products such as soy milk (dou jiang) and silky tofu (dou hua). They have a few other offerings, but the main reason to come here is for their soy bean products.

The “store” is a stand that is set up on the side of a flower shop. The story goes that a long time ago it was just a stand, but it was so popular and did so well that eventually the owners made enough money to open the flower shop. However, they kept the stand as their customers loved their products. I am certainly glad they kept the stand open.

On my latest trip though, I came for one reason which was because I really wanted to report on their xian dou hua (salty silky tofu), I’ve had it a couple of times before, but it had been a long time since I’d had it and I thought it was something people should know about as it’s difficult to find anywhere in the US.

- Xian Dou Hua (Salty Silky Tofu): Tofu comes in various grades based on its consistency ranging anywhere from silky to very firm. This tofu is silky meaning it’s very delicate and soft to the point where if you simply press on it with a spoon it falls apart. The quality of the tofu at Soy Bean Chan is excellent, it has great consistency and the flavor is very clean tasting. It is prepared here by putting it in a small plastic container and then topping it with a mixture of soy sauce, pickled vegetables, chilis and scallions. The saltiness of the soy sauce, the slight spice of the chilis and the crunch and slightly sour flavor of the pickled vegetables goes so well with the tofu. I really liked this and I would highly recommend trying this. 8.75/10
- Tian Dou Jiang (Sweet Soy Bean Milk): This is their regular sweet soy bean milk. We got it cold because it was hot out although I do like it better hot as you can taste the soy bean flavor better when it’s hot. The soy bean milk was good as always, very clean tasting, not chalky at all and you can actually taste the flavor of the soy beans; far superior to most of the soy bean milk you get in NY. Make sure to specify whether you want a) it hot or cold and b) sweet (they won’t make it sweet unless you specify it). Also, make sure to mix up the soy bean milk once they put the sweet syrup in otherwise you’ll end up with part that is very sweet and part that is completely not sweet. 8.25/10

I love specialist who make a few things really good and stick to that. I always complain that the US Chinese restaurants don’t have enough of these specialists like they do in Asia, so it makes me happy to have a place like Soy Bean Chan that does things just right. I highly recommend stopping in.

Soy Bean Chen
135-26 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11354

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  1. Must go there next time in Flushing, I absolutely love salty dou hua (aka doufu nao, tofu brains). Thanks for pointing it out.
    A lot of the Sichuan places in Manhattan have dou hua + x (fish, beef, whatnot) dishes on the menu - we had a brilliant and very ma la dish of fish fillet and dou hua at the Szechuan Gourmet on 56th St on Saturday. Glad we decided to give the place another whirl, as the first meal we had there was very disappointing.

    8 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      hmm ill keep an eye out for it at the sichuan places, i've had it before in chengdu, but that was a very long time ago (2002). However, the version soy bean chan is different as its not particularly spicy and was more of a salty flavor. I think you'd like it though, i think its great.

      Also make sure to mix it up a little bit otherwise you get part with alot of flavor and part with only tofu

      1. re: Lau

        Will do. Love that stuff. Now if only a really good northern dian xin place that served this along with beef sesame su bing etc were to be found...

        1. re: buttertart

          you talking about an actual enclosed su bing? or the sandwich kind of thing where the beef is lodged in between a shao bing?

          1. re: Lau

            The sandwichy kind but a flakier pastry than the usual shao bing, round, w sesame seeds on top. A Celestial (Tian Chu) Restaurant specialty (Taipei).

              1. re: Lau

                Similar, flakier, more like a sfogliatelle pastry.

                1. re: buttertart

                  hmmm i think i know what you're talking about

                  you could do a chowhound mission start just hitting all the breakfast places in Flushing like king 5 (now just called niu rou mian), no 1 east etc. They all have something similar although not sure if its good or not

                  Niu Rou Mian
                  39-07 Prince St, Queens, NY 11354