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Four Yu (Fermented Tofu)

An exotic ingredient to add pizazz to your Chinese dishes

When we wrote our book, it was very important to us that the recipes were achievable at home for anyone interested in Chinese food. A part of this was ensuring that the ingredients weren’t impossible to find, or too intimidating do try. Luckily, many many Chinese recipes fit this description, and most of the time you only need to have the basic pantry sauces and seasonings to recreate our dishes.

However, much of the food we ate growing up also featured more obscure ingredients. Things like preserved fish and dried seafoods and fungi (!). Ingredients that we wanted to encourage our readers to explore too if they wanted to.

That’s why we developed the ‘Add an Exotic’ section. Ten ingredients that might feel unfamiliar now, but with more exposure and experimentation they’ll hopefully become as familiar as bok choy and egg noodles (which no doubt felt exotic at one time!). Presented as optional extras that can be added to recipes, an ‘exotic’ can provide an interesting mouthfeel or extra depth of flavour and take a dish from from pretty darn good to downright sublime.

In time, we hope to introduce each of our ‘exotics’ to you here on the website. Today we start with four yu – a very smelly but utterly delicious form of tofu!

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