Shan warm chickpea ‘tofu’ noodle soup

Shan warm chickpea ‘tofu’ noodle soup

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Shan ‘tofu’ is not your usual soya bean tofu, it’s made from chickpeas and is more like a very thick soup. This recipe it's inspiration from the cuisine of Myanmar, and is taken from the book From China To Vietnam by Luke Nguyen (£25, Hardie Grant).



  • chickpea flour 400g
  • peanut (groundnut) oil 60 ml
  • turmeric ¼ tsp
  • red Asian shallots 5, diced
  • garlic 3 cloves, peeled and pounded
  • ginger 4cm piece, peeled and pounded
  • tomatoes 3, diced
  • sweet paprika 1 tsp
  • chicken thighs 3, boneless and skinless, cut into 3cm chunks
  • baby pak choy 200g, leaves separated
  • beansprouts 200g, blanched
  • cooked rice noodles 400g
  • black sesame seeds 1 tbsp, toasted
  • unsalted peanuts 1 tbsp, roasted and crushed
  • fried garlic 2 tsp (see note)
  • light soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • sugar cane syrup or cane syrup 1 tbsp


  • sliced spring onion
  • chilli flakes
  • lime wedges


  • Step 1

    In a large bowl, whisk the chickpea flour and 1 litre cold water together until smooth. Leave to settle overnight.

  • Step 2

    Ladle the liquid from the top of the chickpea mixture into a large pan. Put over a low heat and cook for 15 minutes, stirring or whisking so it doesn’t go lumpy. Now begin to add a few tablespoons of the remaining chickpea mixture every 2 minutes for the next 15 minutes, whisking or stirring often, until all the mixture is incorporated. The liquid will get thicker and thicker.

  • Step 3

    Put the peanut oil in a frying pan and fry the turmeric, shallot, garlic and ginger for 15 minutes. Add the tomato, paprika, chicken and a pinch of sea salt. Stir-fry over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  • Step 4

    Briefly blanch the baby bok choy in boiling water, adding the bean sprouts at the last minute. Drain and set aside.

  • Step 5

    To serve, divide the noodles among four soup bowls. Ladle the chickpea mixture over the noodles, then top with the chicken. Top each bowl with the bok choy, beansprouts, sesame seeds, peanuts, fried garlic, soy sauce and sugar cane syrup, and garnish.

Cooks note:

Fried garlic 

You can make fried garlic by shallow frying finely sliced garlic cloves in vegetable oil until golden. Strain the garlic though a metal sieve and put on paper towels to dry. Reserve the garlic-flavoured oil to use in salads.