The Spice Trade Industry insider knowledge, and usage tips on spices and other ingredients

Industry insider knowledge, and usage tips on spices and other ingredients

Recipe: Annin Tofu

When I was working in Yokohama, Japan, I would sometimes go to a nearby Chinese restaurant for lunch. Sometimes alone. Sometimes with my colleagues. They had a lunch set which changed on a weekly basis. But there was always annin tofu for desserts. And I liked it very much. There are instant mix available in a supermarket for annin tofu, but ones you make at your home are a lot creamier. The sweet flavor of star anise will linger in your mouth.

Tips: This recipe involves two processes: (1) Make milk tofu; (2) Make star anise syrup. It is best to start making the syrup after the milk tofu is ready.

Annin Tofu
Photo: Yuichi Sakuraba

Recipe: Annin Tofu

Yield: 4


♠ For Milk Tofu ♠

  • 10g gelatin powder
  • 200ml water
  • 4 tablespoon sugar
  • 400ml whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond essence

♠ For Star Anise Syrup ♠

  • 2 star anise
  • 4 tablespoon sugar
  • 200ml hot water
  • (Optional) Goji berries or mint for decoration

Cooking instructions

♠ To make milk tofu ♠

  1. In a small cup, add 3 tablespoon water to the gelatin powder and set aside.
  2. In a cooking pot, combine the water and the sugar. Cook over low heat to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and add the gelatin you made. Stir well to mix, then allow to cool.
  4. Once cooled, add the milk and the almond essence, and stir well.
  5. Pour into annin tofu containers or any containers you like to use. I usually just use a bowl I use to serve rice.
  6. Transfer to the refrigerator and cool until the milk tofu solidifies.

♠ To make star anise syrup ♠

  1. When the milk tofu has solidified, combine all ingredients for the star anise syrup in a cooking pot except goji berries and mint. Cook over medium fire.
  2. Turn off the heat once it boils. Pour the star anise syrup over the milk tofu you just made.
  3. Decorate with goji berries, mint leaves or any topping you fancy. Serve and enjoy the sweet aroma!

This article was written by Chia.
I’m a freelance translator with background in biology. Upon meeting my future husband in Spain, I moved to Hong Kong to start our lives together. I’m still exploring what Hong Kong has got to offer :)


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