Fomenting Fermented Red Bean Curd

Fermented red bean curd.

Savouring dishes cooked with the fermented red bean curd is an acquired taste. Either you love it or you do not. Some are put off by its pungent smell and taste. I love it. This must have been cultivated in me since childhood. Mum was a Hakka. Red fermented bean curd is used extensively in Hakka cuisines. I do not eat dishes cooked with this as often as I would like to. This salt preserved soy-based product is not good for my kidneys.

Deep fried fermented red bean curd pork.

One of my favourite Hakka dishes is the Deep Fried Fermented Red Bean Curd Pork. Belly pork is usually used. I find that too greasy to my liking. I do not know if this has been done before but I substituted belly pork with chicken breast. It tasted just as nice sans the greasiness. It is the batter that is important. I believe its taste is not as authentic as it should be. I am still trying to tweak the batter ingredients ratio each time this is cooked. Hopefully one day I will get it right.

Bean curd chicken nuggets.

Hakka Chicken Nuggets

1 piece chicken breast (approximately 300g)

2 cubes fermented red bean curd
Half cup wheat flour
Half tsp sugar
Quarter tsp five spice powder
150ml water

1 cup cooking oil

Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Mix the batter ingredients and stir well. Marinate the chicken in the batter for 2 hours. When ready, heat cooking oil in wok and deep dry the chicken until nicely browned. Serve with cucumber and chilli sauce. The chilli sauce can also be made by pounding 4 red chillies and 2 cloves of garlic. Add juice from one calamansi (lime) and half a teaspoon of sugar to the paste.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

11 thoughts on “Fomenting Fermented Red Bean Curd”

  1. ahhh! i love fermented red bean curd. it’s so yummy esp. eaten with porridge. so heavenly!!

    hey peter, my mum too is a hakka. but how come i haven’t heard of this deep fried fermented red bean curd pork. never know fermented red bean curd can be use as a batter. hmm… thanks for the recipe. must ask my mother to try it one day.

    you do know of course the most famous hakka dish, that is usually never missing during CNY, is the ‘yong tau hoo’ – tau hoo stuffed with meat. (hope that is the correct name!)

  2. Yummy!! I miss Chinese food…But too bad, I cannot get fermented beancurd here in UK. The ang moh’s here will probably choke to death smelling the pungent thing! 😛

  3. Wah Peter you got my imaginations run wild. I got a bottle in the fridge for making yam and belly pork ‘khau yok’. Then, I use it in almost anything now, just to finish the huge bottle. Must try this Hakka dish you gave to knot the Hakka heart of my other half.

  4. Lucia,
    Fermented red bean curd is used mostly for cooking. It is called “lam joo.” The one eaten with porridge is fermented bean curd @ “tau joo.”

    I like yong tau foo also but the Hakka style is a bit complicated. One of these days I will attempt this. Getting the ingredients itself is a feat by itself – fish, salted fish, jintan manis, jintan putih, etc.

    6 more months and you can have all the Chinese food you want, pungent or not.

    So it is true when they say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach eh? I love “khau yuk” but it a bit difficult when I do not have a proper steamer. Do tell me how the “tau joo bak” turns out.

    You have Hakka blood flowing in you. You should know how to cook this dish better than me.

  5. quote peter: “Fermented red bean curd is used mostly for cooking. It is called “lam joo.” The one eaten with porridge is fermented bean curd @ “tau joo.”

    oops silly me. i got confused over these 2. how embarrassing. 🙂

  6. Hi peter,
    hakka cuisine not widely served in the restaurants, best hakka dish I have sample was `hum char`, a favourite vegetarian dish served in many hakka speaking homes in johor.

  7. Rick,
    I am not familiar with “hum char.” Care to share the recipe or at least the ingredients?

    Cooking is easy actually when you ccan get someone to do the cleaning up afterwards. ;o)

  8. peter,
    My last `hum char` meal was maybe 10 years ago, current location is Canada. If I can recall, the ingredients are `chai por` minced, grounded roated peanuts, long beans chopped into tiny bits, dry prawns lightly fried, 4-angle beans chopped into bits and white rice. Now there is a soup to go with it, and its`s prepared by boiling soya beans and a dash of salt, that is as much as I can remember. The soup is poured onto the rice and ingredients during mealtime. Apparently this was the staple of the farm workers for lunch, as it is `moi and salt fish` for the teochews.

  9. Rick,
    I have not eaten that before but there was something similar that Mum used to cook. She used minced chai por, dried prawns, cubed bean curd, french beans and a few other ingredients. Incidentally, I am a Teochew. I used to eat porridge with salted fish, chai por omelette and braised salted vegetable; food that I must avoid now. Thank you for sharing.

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