Chinese, Side Dish, Tofu

Fried Crispy Bean Curd Cubes With Fermented Black Beans

Fermented black beans or douchi (豆豉) in spicy mackerel taste so good with porridge. They are the best and my favorite. This canned food is in fact the only food I know that uses fermented black beans. I’ve never eaten any other fermented black beans dish at home (except the one mentioned above) or in restaurant before. Weird I know (this being Chinese ingredient)

Chinese fermented black beans or douchi (豆豉) is made by fermenting and salting soybeans. The process turns the beans black, soft, and mostly dry. The flavor is sharp, pungent, and spicy in smell, with a taste that is salty and somewhat bitter and sweet. ~source from wiki

Why do I like fermented black beans? It’s mainly because of the slight bitter and salty taste that pow-wow (power wow – my own language haha) my senses. Here is one recipe that uses this lovely black beans. I must say I’m glad I found this recipe in my mom’s cookbook.

Fried Crispy Bean Curd Cubes With Fermented Black Beans
Behold… fried crispy bean curd cubes with fermented black beans.
Yes it’s fried but it’s crispy. Yes it involves SALTY fermented black beans which happens to pair really well with bean curd/tofu.

Fermented Black Beans
Fermented black beans. Bought this from ‘pasar malam’ (night market) at RM0.50.

Let’s start cooking…

Simple Ingredients
Simple ingredients. Chopped garlic, chilies and flat leaf parsley (tsk I’m using coriander haha); and slice the prawns into cubes. Please ignore the size of the ginger. It was too big actually. Hehe Remember to soak fermented black beans beforehand.

Tip: How to distinguish coriander and continental parsley visually? Continental parsley leaves are slightly pointy while its more rounded for the case of coriander (cilantro).

First wash the hard bean curd before slicing them into cubes.

Fry Bean Curd
Deep fry the bean curds in hot oil until golden brown. This is the oil that I used previously for frying lotus roots which is just enough for shallow-frying.

Remove the fried crispy bean curd and drain well. Also, remove the extra oil in the wok, remaining only 1 tablespoon oil.

Fry Garlic, Black Beans & Chili
Fry ginger and fermented black beans until fragrant. Next add chopped chilies and stir-fry until aromatic. Use 2 chilies if you like spicy.

Add Fried Bean Curd & Prawns
Now add the prawns and fried bean curd cubes into the wok. Toss ’em well.

Lastly add seasoning (light soy sauce, sugar, pepper, sesame oil) and water. Stir-fry in high heat until liquid is absorbed. That’s it. Plate it and garnish with flat leaf parsley and cucumber on the side. Believe me the cucumber has 2 roles to play. One as garnish, two to add crunch to the dish.

Fried Crispy Bean Curd Cubes With Fermented Black Beans
Uber delicious!
Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside bean curd infused with the sexy fermented black beans. Ouch, HOT!!! (I mean you look so hot dish)

Eat it with cucumber. Remember.
Hope you like it. 🙂

Fried Crispy Bean Curd Cubes with Fermented Black Beans
Adapted from Beancurd Flavor
Serves 2-3

3 pieces hard bean curd, cleaned
30g medium prawns (chopped into cubes or without) (Initial recipe uses 30g vegetarian chicken)
1-2 red chilies (chopped)
2 teaspoons fermented salted black beans (soaked)
1 teaspoon chopped flat leaf parsley (also called Italian parsley)
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons water
4cm cucumber (sliced into semi-circle) – optional

1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1. Slice hard bean curd into square cubes. Deep-fry/shallow fry in hot oil until they are crispy and golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and stir-fry ginger and fermented salted black beans until fragrant.

3. Then add red chilies and stir-fry for a moment until aromatic.

4. Add the fried bean curd cubes and prawns. Mix well. Lastly add all the seasoning and water. Stir constantly over high heat until liquid is absorbed. Plate it and garnish with flat leaf parsley and cucumber on the side (a good addition to the dish).


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  • Reply Nava Krishnan July 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Beautiful combo and the color is so vibrant, making it oozing with taste. I too have the beans with porridge, another great combo for the beans I must agree.

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 31, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      This dish has become one of my favorite. I’m surprise something so simple can taste that good.

  • Reply Pierre August 2, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    I love your cooking technique (again). Yummy way of cooking tofu!
    Interesting use of parsley tho, the continental ones usually don’t make it to my herb vocab… because they’re tasteless, they’re more like a salad to me.
    Italian parsley and continental parsley are totally different species, the latter is tasteless but the Italian is sooooo tasty but rarely sold in Asia (equator region). Not sure why.
    I think, despite the fact that I hate cilantro, your recipe should take the herb rather well.

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 3, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      My cooking technique is no cooking technique. Just follow the instructions. Haha. Ohma cilantro is yummy.

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