Fermented Bean Curd or Dou Fu Ru (豆腐乳) in Chinese, is a fermented bean curd. This dish has been eaten in China for thousands of year. It is prized mostly for its “nutritional value” and distinct flavor. However, for those who are unfamiliar with it, it is something that does not really induce hunger. This product is made via fermentation via mold. The smell and taste is not exactly pleasant either.
Fermented Bean Curd Taste
Fermented Bean Curd has a strong pungent smell that gives a waft of rotten. It has an intense sour, rotten and almost tingly taste to it. The mistake that most people make is taking a huge bite out of it. Because of the potency of it, how you are suppose to eat it is with little bites. It is supposed to add flavor to an other wise bland dish like congee, rice or bread.
The texture is very soft, creamy and oily. It doesn’t really sound like a pleasant product but once you start eating it, you will understand how it pairs with other food.
Fermented Bean Curd Uses
Most Chinese people uses it in congee as one of its many different topping. If you have a bland congee, fermented bean curd can add a lot of flavor to the dish. You can also pair it with Rou Song or HuaGua to balance out the flavor.
Some also use this in Hot Pot but it is not as common.
The Chinese also uses this as a seasoning when cooking. Some examples are Steamed Chinese Bacon and Chinese Steamed Egg.
Fermented Bean Curd Ingredients and Nutrition
The ingredient list will vary by manufacturer but in general you can expect the following. Soybean, soybean oil, cooking wine, msg, salt, chili and prickly ash powder.
This product is very fattening. For 85 g of Fermented Tofu, you can expect to get around 53g of total Fat. It will also account for 99% of your daily sodium intake. In general, its not very healthy. However the Chinese still believe that it holds some health effects on the body.
Fermented Bean Curd Health Benefits
This section is highly questionable and my source is from the Chinese Wiki Version. Take this with a grain of salt.
It is said that Fermented Tofu has a high content of Purine in it. As such people with Hypertension, cardiovascular disease, gout, kidney issue and peptic ulcer should avoid it. It is also high in sulfur compound so eating too much of this will be bad for your body. Doesn’t this makes you really want to try it.
Where to Buy Fermented Bean Curd
If you want to try it out, you can find it in any asian supermarket. Places like 99 ranch market are sure to carry it. Look for a tiny glass jar, a lot of manufacturer have their own version, even lao gan ma. If you do not have a asian grocer nearby, you can even find it on Amazon.
I know this article makes it sound horrible, but its definitely a very interesting taste. There are some funny videos on youtube of people eating it. You can watch their disgust before trying it.
But really, it goes great with congee if you eat it correctly. In the video, they are taking huge bites, you are not suppose to do that. Anyways, you know you want to try it.
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