Sep 4, 2017

Asian Dried Anchovies and Five-Spice Bean Curd Stir-Fry

While many western countries marinate and/or preserve anchovies in oil, the dried version is more common in Taiwan. Asian dried anchovies can be used in many ways to boost flavors in Taiwanese dishes. Some like to soak and pat dry the anchovies first, then use in steamed recipes. The anchovies come out soft and easy to swallow. Some add it to stir-fry dishes and by doing so, the anchovies become crunchy and packed with savory aroma.

The Asian dried anchovies and bean curd stir-fry here is one of the classic recipes incorporating dried anchovies. Pair with red chilies and salted black beans, you'll be even happier with ice cold beer on hand.

Asian dried anchovies and five-spice bean curd stir-fry 炒小魚豆乾 -


  • 4 squares ready-to-eat five-spice bean curd
  • 1 1/2 cups dried anchovies
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 to 2 red chilies
  • 1 stalk garlic sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted black beans 豆鼓
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Small pinch white pepper powder


Gently rinse the dried anchovies and soak for about 5 minutes. Drain and pat-dry with kitchen towel.

Trim off the stem of garlic sprouts and slice the remaining part diagonally into about 2 inch long sections. Trim off red chili stems and slice diagonally too. Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves. Slice the bean curd.

Drizzle some olive oil to the pan and turn to medium heat. Add in garlic sprouts, chopped garlic, chilies and give them a quick stir. Wait till the aroma comes out but be careful not to burn the garlic pieces. 

Add in dried anchovies and keep stir-frying till the fish appear nearly dried up. Turn up the heat if needed. Wait till the color of the anchovies darkens and the texture turns slightly crunchy. It might take a few minutes.

Add in the bean curd and give it a quick stir. It won't take long since the bean curd was already cooked-through before packaging.

Add in Chinese cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar, salted black beans, and white pepper powder. Mix gently and cook till the bean curd slices absorb all the seasonings.

Plate and serve right away, but this dish can be eaten cold too. If you really making sure to stir-fry the anchovies till almost completely dried up and crunchy on the edges, that crunchiness still holds even when the dish was out for a while.  

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