Red Fermented Beancurd (Nam-yu) – pork and chili stir-fry
Fermented beancurd (pronounced Foo-yu in Cantonese and Fu-ru in mandarin) is one of the very traditional seasoning ingredients in Chinese cuisine. It’s known as Chinese cheese or Chinese miso due to its fragrant fermented aroma. It’s usually made of tofu, salt, different types of Chinese wine and different spices. Red yeast rice is used in fermentation of red fermented beancurd. This is how its rich red colour is produced. The taste and aroma of fermented beancurd can be differed due to the seasoning of the brine, though they all smell aromatic, alcoholic and taste creamy and silky.
I always keep 2 jars of fermented beancurd in fridge, one white fermented beancurd which is the most usually-seen one, and one red fermented beancurd (pronounced Nam-yu in Cantonese). The very Cantonese ways of having white fermented beancurd are – to serve as a side with white rice congee or simple steamed white rice, stir-fry with Chinese water spinach or long beans as seasoning ingredients, serve as dipping sauce with braised lamb or lamb hotpot, etc. For red fermented beancurd, I always use it as seasoning ingredients, such as – to braise with pig trotters, to braise with bitter gourd and pork belly, to marinate pork then deep-fry, to marinate chicken wings then pan-fry, or to braise with different dried mushrooms. Generally speaking, it’s suitable to season fat meat.
Fermented beancurd can be easily obtained in Asian grocery stores and is usually stored in glass jar. Make sure you taste it before using it in cooking for some of them might be quite salty and unnecessary to add extra salt in the dish.
Ingredients – for 1 – 2 serving
- Pork belly, 300g
- Sweet green chili pepper, 3, choose whichever chili pepper you like, in this recipe, I don’t want them too spicy
- Red chili pepper, 1
- Nam-yu (red fermented beancurd), 40g
- Nam-yu brine, 1tbsp
- Leek, 1
- Garlic, 3 cloves
- Ginger, 4 slices
- Cantonese rice wine, or any Chinese cooking wine, 2tbsp. Consult shop assistant when buying your first bottle of Chinese cooking wine, there’s really no need to buy expensive ones, those are for drinking, not cooking
- Sugar, 1tsp
How to do –
- Pour in enough water in a soup pot, put in the pork belly and 3-4 thick slices of ginger, bring to boil then simmer in low heat for a couple more minutes; Then turn off the heat, keep the lid on and let the pork sit in water for 10 more minutes; Take the cooked meat out and let it cool down; Slice thinly.
Note – I would prefer to blanch the pork belly first then slice and stir-fry. This procedure is similar to Twice-cooked Pork (回锅肉). Less fat would be consumed in this way. But actually there is no necessary. If you don’t want to wait, simply slice the pork belly and stir-fry would be just fine.
2. Slice garlic, chili peppers and leek.
3. Heat 1tbsp of oil in hot wok, put in the sliced pork and pan-fry till golden in medium-high heat; push aside and stir-fry the garlic till fragrant; move them aside, lower to medium heat in case Nam-yu is burnt, put in Nam-yu and its brine, press and break apart; flip the wok and stir fry till the meat is coated with the Nam-yu sauce thoroughly; put the vegetables in the wok, turn up to high heat, flip the wok and stir-fry; sprinkle 1tsp of sugar and about 2tbsp of cooking wine in the wok, flip the wok and keep stir-fry for a few more seconds then it’s done! It’s perfect to serve with steamed rice.
- 五花肉 300克
- 南乳 40克
- 南乳汁 1茶匙
- 青椒 3根
- 红椒 1根
- 大葱 1根
- 蒜 3瓣
- 姜片 4块
- 广东米酒 2汤匙
- 糖 1茶匙