Monday, February 20, 2012

Red Fermented Bean Curd/Lam Yee Char Siew

Everytime i cook with red fermented bean curd/lam yee, i was asked, what is it?  First we must know what the original Fermented bean curd also called sufu, fermented tofu, tofu cheese, or preserved tofu/cantonese fu yee/ is?.  It is a form of processed, preserved tofu,  the ingredients  typically are soybeans, salt, rice wine and sesame oil or vinegar.   Red fermented bean curd/南乳(Cantonese - Lam Yee)(Chinese  紅腐乳/南乳 pinyin hongfuru/nanru), is fermented bean curd incorporated with red yeast rice for a deep-red color.   Now that we know what they are and what ingredients are used to make these 2 types of fermented bean curd, do you know that these humble cubes can impart distinctively thickened flavor and aroma to any dish cooked with them?. 

I have been making Char Siew following this easy recipe and everyone who followed this recipe gave a very good review, but i am always game to try something new.  I was intrigued with this new recipe as EGGS are used together with Lam Yee in the marinate, I had to give this recipe a try.  The Char Siew was so well flavored, full aroma of Lam Yee and the sauce so thickened - must be the presence of the egg.  I had to share with all of you.


3 lbs shoulder pork(marbled with fat)
3 - 4 shallots
6 - 8 cloves garlic
6 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp chicken powder(optional)
2 tsp sesame paste
1 1/2 pieces Lam Yee/red fermented bean curd
1 tbsp light soya sauce
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp Rose Wine


1 lb maltose
4 tbsp water
2 ozs rock sugar
Few slices of ginger
1/4 tsp salt


Cut shoulder pork into strips and make shallow cuts on the strips so that there is more surface for the marinate.

Pound the shallots and garlic or alternatively grate the ginger and pass the garlic through the garlic press,mix these with the rest of the ingredients and marinate pork strips - the longer the better(leave in the fridge while marinating, turning the pork strips now and then)

Heat oven to 375f and line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and put a greased cooling cake rack on top.

Bake the marinated pork strips until cooked through, turning once (cooking time depends on how thick the pork strips are - 15 mins on one side should be fine)

While the pork strips are being cooked, make the glaze.  Fill a large skillet with 1 inch water and bring to the boil, put in the container of maltose, a bowl filled with the rock sugar, water, ginger slices and salt, cover the skillet and cook until both the maltose and rock sugar have melted.  Mix these 2 together.

When the pork strips are cooked, glaze them and then broil/grill to char them further thus giving a gkazy shine.

Cool before slicing.


StephenC said...

Your site is so pretty to look at, and of course I enjoy your recipes. I need to find time to travel to a good Asian market which is a number of miles outside of Washington. I want to try the fermented bean curd. And, because it seems a bit ambitious for me, perhaps I would be able to buy some cooked Char Siew there as well. Thanks for the pleasure.

lilyng said...


thanks for the kind compliments, it means alot coming from a gourmand like you. Hope you make to the asian store and make some char siew instead of buying them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

For the maltose, is it in syrup form? I asked the shop assistant for maltose and she pointed me to a 500g packet of Maltitol in powder form. The ingredient stated on it is Maltisob (Polyol extracted from corn / wheat base). I'm not so sure so I didn't buy. But I saw the shop selling Glucose in clear thick syrup or almost gel like. Can I use this instead? Or is there any other substitute? Thank you.


lilyng said...


here is a pic of maltose syrup

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
can you tell me what is sesame paste and is the oven set on grill function?
I use the fan with grill function most of the time for faster cooking, is that ok or will the meat be tougher?

lilyng said...


sesame paste is roasted sesame paste ground into a paste. it is readily available in most asian stores, ask for chee mah cheong.

The grill with fan on is perfect for this char siew. The faster the meat gets charred and cooked, the better the texture. Over grilling will dry out and toughen the meat

Anonymous said...

Hi Aunty Lily,

Can I substitute rose wine with rice wine + rose essence?


lilyng said...


absolutely, rice wine is fine, omit the rose essence

Anonymous said...

Hi aunt Lily,
A few days ago I asked a question about leftover glaze. I was actually referring to this recipe, but I posted the question in another char siu recipe :) This glaze has the char siu flavor already and it is quite sweet. I have never cooked any sweet stew meats before as you suggested. However, when we buy bbq pork, it usually comes with a sauce which I mix with steamed rice. I am wondering if we can mix something into the already flavored glaze to make that sauce. Do you have any suggestion? Thanks. -Lenny-

lilyng said...


the glaze is just maltose and water which is sweet, use some for your sweet and sour sauce, chilly sauce etc

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