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Fermented tofu is a firm bean curd product that’s been dried in the air and aged. The texture and the sour odor are sometimes compared to aged cheeses, and the process used to ferment the tofu is actually very similar to that of making soft cheeses.
Eating fermented tofu with porridge is the traditional method of consumption. If eating the fermented bean curd straight-up may not be your choice, it also can be added to stir-fry dishes and treated like a spice and to thicken sauces. One or two cubes can flavour a whole stir-fry dish, imparting a salty-sweet depth that’s a nice change from soy sauce or oyster sauce. Frying the tofu and serving it in slices with leafy green vegetables like cauliflower, take well to its strong flavour. covered in sesame oil also is a popular preparation.
There are different types of brines and other methods that are used to create fermented tofu. I used to brine it in a koji and rice wine solution.
- 350 g Firmly Press Bean Curd
- 60 g Fine Sea Salt
- 50 g Demerara Raw Cane Sugar
- 80 g White Koji ( What is white koji Click Here )
- 150 ml Chinese Rice Wine ( Alcohol 20 ~ 30% )
- 500 ml Glass Jar
- 1 tbsp Red Rice Yeast（ for making Red Fermented Tofu ）
- Some Chillies
1. Cut bean curd into 2 X 2 cm cubes. Coat each tofu cubes with fine sea salt throughly, dry under the sunlight for 3 days. Store it to the refrigerator at night. If you can’t reach sunlight at home, air-dry in a food dehydrator at 90ºC for 7 ~ 8 hours. If you find red dots on the tofu cubes, it cannot be used.
2. Tofu cubes become hard and wrinkle when it is nearly dried.
3. Rinse the nearly dried tofu cubes in cold water, wash away all the salt. Put the cubes into a steamer. Steam over medium heat for 20 mins. Let cool and dry in the food dehydrator. The tofu cubes are ready for fermented process when it is nearly dry. Not necessary to be completely dry.
4. Combine white koji and sugar. Break any lumps and mix well.
5. Sterilised the glass jar in boiling water for 10 mins. Dry with a hair-dryer. Spray Chinese rice wine before use.
6. Scoop a spoon of koji sugar mix at the bottom of the glass jar. Arrange tofu cubes, let it have some spaces between each cubes.
7. Scoop another layer of koji sugar mix on top of the tofu layer, and so on until the jar is filled. If you want to make red fermented tofu, add red rice yeast / chillies at the third layer.
8. Finally, add Chinese rice wine. Cover with lid, turn around with lid facing the bottom. Allow to ferment at a warm ambient temperature ( 25°C ~ 27°C ) for about 30 days. Prevent the glass jar from direct sunlight. Turn it lid to the normal position lid facing up and continue to ferment and age in a brine solution for 2 ~ 4 months.
9. When fermented tofu is done, the brine solution will become brownish ( I get much darker brown colour because I use demerara cane sugar ), the cubes impart a rich brownish colour and unique flavour. It also gives the tofu a nearly unlimited shelf life in a refrigerator.
- All the equipments and tools should be absolutely dry
- Don’t shake during the fermented process. The jar lid should not be opened before fermented is done.
- Don’t use a very big jar with small quantity tofu. It is risk to fail the fermented process if too much bad bacterial in the jar during process.
- The fermented process depends on room temperature. It may take 2 ~ 3 months in summer and 4 ~ 5 months in winter. Half year taste best.