Fermented bean curd is a processed, preserved tofu used as an ingredient in East Asian recipes. Fermented bean curd is also known as fermented tofu, preserved tofu, tofu cheese, and soy cheese.
Fermented bean curd is usually made from soybeans, rice wine, salt, vinegar, and sesame oil. It has a strong, distinctive flavor that makes finding a substitute for it challenging.
What is Fermented Red Bean Curd, and How is it Used?
Fermented red bean curd is usually used in Chinese recipes as a flavor enhancer. It is predominantly used in marinades and stews.
This condiment is called fermented bean curd because it is the preserved form of bean curd, which is made by preserving soya bean curd cubes in rice wine and adding various seasonings.
Some other types of fermented red bean curd are preserved in fermented red rice and flavored with seasonings. These fermented red bean curd forms are used in various dishes, including dipping sauce, fried rice, and noodles.
Many people even enjoy fermented red bean curd in their breakfast. Tofu scramble is a delicious breakfast made with scrambled eggs and fermented red bean curd, along with red peppers and onions. Fermented red bean curd is also used to flavor porridge gruel.
How is Fermented Red Bean Curd Made?
All variations of fermented bean curd are made with very similar methods.
- A few cubes of tofu are left out to air dry before they are used in a recipe.
- Once the tofu cubes are dry, they are soaked in rice wine or a brine and spice mixture. This seasons the tofu and gives it a delicious flavor. The tofu is then left to ferment even further.
- Once the tofu has fermented fully, it is packaged and sold as fermented bean curd.
- The tofu is often placed in molds to achieve a regular shape, much like cheese and tempeh.
- Fermented white bean curd is the simplest form of fermented bean curd. This is because red bean curd is often made with red yeast rice and chili. This seasons the fermented red bean curd and gives it a complex flavor.
Fermented Red Bean Curd Substitute
1. White Miso (Shiro Miso)
If you are not concerned with your fermented bean curd’s color, you can use white miso in place of fermented red bean curd.
White miso requires a shorter fermentation time than fermented red bean curd. White miso is also known as sweet miso since it has a slightly sweet flavor.
White miso is a good substitute for fermented red bean curd since it has a similar flavor. This being said, white miso is milder in flavor than fermented red bean curd. It also has a mild smell, which is not as strong as fermented red bean curd.
2. Yellow Miso (Shinshu Miso)
Yellow miso also makes an excellent substitute for fermented red bean curd. However, like white miso, it also has a milder flavor than fermented red bean curd.
Yellow miso is fermented for a fairly long duration, like fermented red bean curd. Yellow miso can have a yellowish to light brown color, depending on how long it is fermented.
You can use yellow miso in soups and for glazing. However, yellow miso is not the best thing to use in marinades since it has a mild flavor.
Both white miso and yellow miso do not resemble fermented red bean curd, as they are different colors.
3. Red Miso (aka Miso)
Red miso is the best substitute for fermented red bean curd. This is due to both the color and flavor similarity. Red miso is fermented for long, much like fermented red bean curd.
Red miso includes both dark red and brown miso. Red miso is saltier than white and yellow miso, and it has a bolder flavor. A long fermentation process brings about this saltiness. Red miso is pungent, much like fermented red bean curd.
Red miso is generally used in rich dishes like braises, soups, marinades, and glazes.
Like fermented red bean curd, you should use red miso sparingly. Red miso has a strong flavor, and if too much of it is used, it can overwhelm ingredients with a delicate flavor.
We hope that this post has helped you create your favorite East Asian recipe even though you didn’t have fermented red bean curd. Let us know in the comments below which substitute for fermented red bean curd you used and how the dish turned out.