An unusual seasoning

By PAULINE D LOH | China Daily | Updated: 2019-12-28 11:57

A fermented bean curd that lends a deep savoriness

Only in China can you taste dishes that are seasoned with intensely flavored cubes of fermented bean curd and these are delicious with both meat and vegetables.

My first taste of the little cubes of pure flavor was at my grandfather's dining table when I was a child. We were having plain white congee, but there was nothing simple about the spread of side dishes that had the table groaning.

In front of every place were little dishes of fried peanuts, salted sweet radish strips and a tiny saucer with a cube of cream-colored curd, speckled with pretty red chili flakes and topped with a heaping teaspoon of sugar.

It was the sugar that attracted my childish palate, of course, but I soon grew addicted to the sharp tangy saltiness of the furu. It went perfectly with the blandness of the rice congee and made it easy to gobble up several bowls between little chopstick pinches of the salted bean curd.

Later, I also discovered the red variety, the nanru or southern bean curd.

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