Firm tofu cubes are fermented by laying them to dry and then preserved in alcohol, chili pepper and salt. The tofu becomes creamy and soft like a moldy blue cheese and has a distinct, salty taste.

Fermented tofu, the umami in vegan Chinese cuisine

Umami in the vegan Chinese kitchen

You can eat fermented tofu as you would eat moldy cheese. Preferably with rice, as my grandmother always did. But who knows, it might also be nice on a brown sandwich or toast. Either way, this tofu cheese has a spiciness and flavour the ‘laughing cow’ cannot possibly match.

Fermented tofu, the umami in vegan Chinese cuisine

Because the tofu has a robust taste, it is very suitable for pepping up vegetables. For example as a seasoning in stir-fried water spinach in which the taste of the tofu clearly plays a major role.

You can also combine it with other ingredients to make a vegan sauce, with the tofu providing the umami. For example, try the recipe for shiitake sauce, a vegan alternative to Chinese oyster sauce. Or the recipe for vegan Vietnamese vinaigrette, in which the tofu is a worthy vegan substitute for the salty fish sauce.

 

 

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