Crispy Tofu & Pork Balls

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

These are good to serve with another dish or two that are saucy. They also make perfect cocktail food with a little chilli or sweet soy sauce. The lettuce is important — each tofu and pork ball should be wrapped up with some chilli sauce in a lettuce leaf. It gives a crunchy, simultaneously hot and cooling sensation that really makes the dish.


  • 300 g (10½ oz) firm tofu
  • 100 g ( oz) minced (ground) pork belly
  • 30 g (1 oz) piece of ham, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • ½ spring onion (scallion), finely sliced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated palm sugar (jaggery)
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plain (all-purpose) flour
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • lettuce, to serve
  • fresh chilli sauce, to serve


Mash up the tofu with a fork and add the minced pork, ham, garlic, ginger, spring onion, sea salt, palm sugar, fish sauce and flour. Mix together well with your hands. Shape into 3 cm ( inch) balls.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F), and deep-fry the balls in batches until golden brown, making sure not to overcrowd the wok. Drain on paper towel and serve on a plate of washed lettuce with the chilli sauce on the side.