The pipa refers to the way the tofu mix is shaped. Traditionally, it’s a tear drop or elongated diamond intended to look like a stringed instrument called a pipa.

Mushroom Pipa Tofu [Vegan]

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  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 1 pack tofu, drained and pressed
  • 3 each green onions, chopped (white and non woody green parts)
  • 1 large carrot, shredded (between 1/3 and 1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds


  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, 5 spice powder (to taste)


  1. Use the food processor or stick blender to chop the mushrooms into very fine pieces.
  2. Add the tofu and carrots. Process until well mixed and paste like. Stir in the green onions, sesame seeds, cilantro and seasonings.
  3. Stir in the corn starch, adjust the amount depending on how wet the mix is.
  4. Use a scoop for portioning, then form the mix into teardrop or diamond shapes. I got 16 pipa, using a standard 2" scoop.
  5. If steaming, arrange the pipa on a plate that will fit inside your steamer. You will need to work in batches.
  6. Steam the pipa for 7 to 9 minutes. They should be firm to the touch and hold their shape without crumbling.
  7. At this point the pipa can be eaten. Serve them with soy or tamari sauce for dipping, prepare your favorite sauce or use a commercially prepared sauce.
  8. To fry, dredge the pipa in cornstarch or set up a breading station with bread crumbs. Pan fry until golden brown all over. Garnish with chopped cilantro and/or green onions and serve with your choice of sauce.


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