Zhai Choy with Fermented Tofu | 南乳焖斋菜 [Nyonya Cooking]

Hi guys! I’m Grace, your host from Nyonya Cooking Hi everyone, it’s Helen here from Helen’s Recipes, youtube channel Do you guys know that Vietnamese New Year and the Chinese New Year fall on the same date? We both choose to celebrate our traditional New Year based on the lunar calendar That’s very true Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days During this time, we have the concept of ‘open house’ ‘Open house’ is the time when we will visit family and friends just to enjoy delicious food and assorted cookies It is also the time to catch up with one another What about in Vietnam? That’s quite similar to what happens in Vietnam during Vietnamese New Year We called it Tết Every household prepares lots of good food and candies to offer to the visiting guests So today, we would like to invite you to our ‘open house’ to enjoy some very special New Year recipes from Vietnam and Malaysia Helen and I have each prepared a recipe that is significant to the New Year So, do not miss that because we will link all the recipes at the end of this video So, stay tuned I will be preparing ‘Zhai’, a vegetarian meal dish It’s cooked by my grandma every single year during Chinese New Year So, do not miss that because it’s delicious and it’s healthy What about you, Helen? I will be showing you how a traditional Vietnamese New Year cake called Bánh tét is made If you like the videos, don’t forget to click ‘like’ and subscribe to my channel, Helen’s Recipes and Nyonya Cooking The long list of ingredients begins with some chopped garlic, dark soy sauce fermented tofu…remember to also take the gravy as well, some salt and sugar to taste Water… as long as it covers the ingredients You’ll see it later Some Chinese cabbage, shiitake mushrooms and also black fungus which is also known as ‘mu er’ mushrooms These mushrooms are bought dried Then, I soaked them in a bowl of water overnight and they expanded the next day It’s really huge I also have some glass noodles over here So, glass noodles, shiitake mushrooms, black fungus and also this Chinese cabbage represents longevity Carrots, on the other hand represents good luck I also have here, some dried lily buds These dried lily buds are also sold in a package… in a very small package They are usually found like this I soaked these in a bowl of water as well Once they softened, I tied them into a knot because if you do not do this, they will start fraying in the dish These are also some dried bean curds pieces This represents wealth and also happiness There is also another ingredient which adds up to this interesting list of ingredients That is black moss which is also known as ‘fatt choi’ You can, of course use this in the dish because it signifies wealth I’m heating up quite a large amount of oil here Once this heats up, I’m going to add these bean curds pieces into the pan After frying one side, remember to turn it over to the other side as well So, once it’s golden brown like this As you can see over here It had also harden… means it’s done We will just need to put them into a bowl of water to soften these bean curd pieces While we soak the bean curd pieces, we’re now going to start cooking You’ll want to fry this garlic at low to medium heat You don’t want to burn the garlic So, all you want to do is just to bring the smell and the flavour out of the garlic The next step is to add the fermented tofu Before adding the fermented tofu, using a fork, we’re just going to mash these Once you add water to the pan, increase the heat to high Then, we’ll wait for this to boil Now that it’s already starting to boil, it’s time to put in the mushrooms and also the lily buds and also these black fungus Do not forget the bean curd pieces which are already now softened I also tore them into smaller pieces so that it is easier to eat These bean curd pieces are actually my favourite part of this dish Now, we’re going to add the dark soy sauce This is still cooking at high heat This is going to boil for a while After this, we’re going to add the rest of the ingredients in All the ingredients are now in this pan Because the core taste is from the fermented tofu, we’re going to add sugar to this dish I’ll just start with about 1 tablespoon of sugar Then, we’ll see how the taste is If it’s not sweet enough, I’m just going to add more sugar Try to balance it with the saltiness You may also add salt to this dish if you find this dish not that salty or else, you may also add another piece of fermented tofu This had been left cooking for about 10 to 15 minutes Now, it’s boiling nicely The vegetables are soft I’m just going to taste it… if it’s sweet enough Yup… it could use a bit more sugar So finally, for this dish, I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar It really depends on how much water you put in how much vegetables you put in For my dish, this is the perfect measurement This dish is almost done As you can see, most of the vegetables are soaked with this very delicious gravy Then, we can dish it out and enjoy This dish is finally ready and I’m here with my chopsticks, ready to attack We usually eat this dish together with rice So, I’m going to show you how to do this Now, this is finally the test… to try this Wait… Hmmm… It’s so good That was my first piece of bean curd from the dish Amazing It’s salty… from the fermented tofu A bit of sweetness Perfect dish… tastes just like home I know you’re going to love this recipe as well So, for more recipes like this, remember to check out Nyonya Cooking’s videos Remember to subscribe to our channel because I can’t wait to bring you more recipes like this You can write to me in the comment section below Tell me your comments of this video, of recipes that you had tried Send me photos through Google+ or Facebook and even Twitter Till then, I wish you, ‘A very happy Chinese New Year’ May this year of the horse brings you more wealth and more health Till then, happy cooking!

64 thoughts on “Zhai Choy with Fermented Tofu | 南乳焖斋菜 [Nyonya Cooking]

  1. To be honest, I am somewhat intimidated by the fermented tofu. I'm not sure if I dare to try it. It sure is something strange for the German taste buds, I think.

  2. Haha, really nice to still see someone who sticks to its traditional roots, its good to be modern, but when coming to such fesgives seasons.. seeing u wear a cheong san just wows me, u really are a good girl haha. Anyways also, hard to find a girl willing to cook n learn to cook now, compared to the past.. great ! Keep up ur spirit !! Npresent more lovely dishes!!
    Have a great day

  3. I cooked this as well on the first day of Chinese New Year and like you, I learned to cook this dish from Grandma and mum and it is my favourite dish for the CNY. Grandmum and mum are Nyonya Melaka and managed to learn the wonderful recipes and cooked them myself. Well done to you, Grace! Kong Hei Fatt Choy!

  4. Prepared this fish for reunion dinner tonight and my family, especially my parents, loved it. Mum told me to prepare this again tomorrow night for dinner!

  5. I'm a huge huge huge fan of peranakan culture and food. Pliz load a video on how to cook "nasi ulam" or " Ikan pepes". Thank you for creating this channel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  6. Okay, what are the other ingredients? And, do you have any suggestion what can i replace alcohol? I mean maybe something sweet? I dnt know. Thank you.

  7. Thank you. What are the other ingredients? And, do you know anything that I can replace alcohol. I really want to try this because I love tofu so much.

  8. Hi grace,
    Thank you so much for this.
    Do I have to fry the bean curd skins? Also I know u can get those rolled bean curd skin. Can I use those instead?


  9. Let me find the ingredients in the local Chinese store and let me cook the dish? Shall post once I do the dish!!!!:):):):)

  10. Hi @Nyonya Cooking (Malaysian Recipes)  thanks to share delicious vegetarian recipe 🙂 anyway is Fermented Tofu same with touco or miso?? I can't find fermented tofu here….

  11. Loved this dish and because of the pungent taste, never could truly tell what ingredients were used. Thanks! The fried bean curd is also my fav!

  12. Grace, I cooked this yesterday, it's delicious, easy and very convenient for a lazy mum like me, LOL! In the future, pls share more “一锅熟” recipes 🙂 Thank you.

  13. can add some red dates and sweet beancurd(甜腐竹)in it make it taste better 🙂 for vegetarian can replace garlic to ginger.

  14. At 02:08, black fungus is mu er in Mandarin, which means wood ear. You will see fresh black, brown, or cream colored versions in most up-scale American markets (Whole Foods, Trader Joe's) labeled "Wood Ear Mushroom". They won't keep long, thus the popularity of the dried form. You can also buy dried black fungus in any Asian market or online shopping such as at Amazon – search for "wood ear mu er".

  15. Dried mu er need not be soaked overnight. About 30 minutes is plenty. They expand to about four times the dried volume, so cover with more than the depth of the fungus in a deep dish or glass.

  16. If you ask for black moss in a Chinese market, better to ask for "fa cai" (Mandarin) than "fat choy" (Cantonese). The vast majority of Chinese don't understand Cantonese. You can also print these simplified characters: 发菜

  17. Timing tips: As I mentioned, deal with wood ear separately for best taste and cook in the final pan about 10 minutes. Napa cabbage also needs 10 minutes (Chinese call it Chinese cabbage, but most U.S. supermarkets label it Napa cabbage (from Japanese nappa for "leaf food"). Carrot time depends on the thinness – if shredded with a typical veggie shredder, carrots only need 3 minutes to get hot. If sliced to julienne size, 6-8 minutes. Good timing makes for best texture of each ingredient.

  18. Great recipe, I usually make a much soupier version and add more carrots to balance the saltiness and add chicken as well. Ginger really complements the fermented tofu as well.

  19. Your recipe looks delicious. Can you suggest a substitute for fermented red bean curd if I can't fnd it any stores where I live?

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