Sep 9, 2016

Stir-Fry Cabbage with Chinese Fermented Dried Soybeans - 豆酥高麗菜

How to describe Chinese fermented dried soybeans? The process of making it can be quite complicating, but it involves boiling, fermenting, and drying of the soybeans. The end product is semi-hard pallets that can be stored in the freezer up to months if needed. 

Try your luck at a Chinese grocery store, otherwise fried garlic can be one flavorful alternative. 

Stir-fry cabbage with Chinese fermented dried soybeans - 


  • 1/2 small to medium cabbage
  • 6 tablespoons fermented soybeans
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon homemade flaky chili sauce


Tear the cabbage into large bite size pieces. Trim off scallion stem and chop the remaining section. Trim off the chili stems and finely chop the remaining. Peel the garlic cloves, give two cloves a few chops and finely chop the remaining three cloves. 

The fermented dried soybeans I got from a local market -

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan and turn to medium high heat. Once the oil warms up a little, add in the fermented dried soybeans and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add in scallion, chilies, and finely chopped garlic. Also season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, and some flaky chili sauce. 

Cook till the mixture is about to dry up completely, scoop out and set aside for later use. These soybeans will expand after absorbing all the oil and moisture. 

Use the same pan and add in the larger garlic pieces, drizzle more olive oil if needed, just to evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Also add in 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook till fragrant and the garlic is about to get burnt. Turn to high heat and quickly add in the cabbage. Keep stir-frying till the cabbage reaches desired texture, I prefer a crunchier bite for this recipe.  

Transfer to a plate and top with the soybean mixture generously.

This soybean mixture also works well with steamed fish fillet. You get that soft texture from the fish and paired with crunchy, aromatic soybean mixture. Fingers crossed that you could find this Asian ingredient at the grocery store.

Other Asian stir fry recipes:

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