Many people think that shrimp paste, a typical dipping sauce of Northern villages, is the most effective sauce to combine with tofu. However, ever since I was a kid, I’ve always liked my tofu dipped with fermented soy sauce, aka soy sauce, because of its sweeter taste, lighter smell, and style that makes me remember her grandmother. who used to make it at home.
The usual dipping sauce enjoyed by vegetarian Buddhists is now less common in the cities, and the recipes and strategies for creating delicious soy sauce are handed down from household to household. specific family. However, if you have a chance to try it and compare its taste with other fermented soybean pastes, like miso in Japan and doenjang in Korea, you will find a precious traditional eating custom.
How is Vietnamese fermented soybean paste made?
The sauce has a high nutritional value because it is made from soybeans fermented with a mold or fungus. To make this sticky rice dish, sticky rice is steamed or special rice is cooked with much less water than usual, then spread on a woven tray and covered with foil to keep it warm. The rice is left to ferment for about 7-10 days.
Every household and every region has its own method of killing mold, but the basic principle is the same: fermented rice creates warmth and creates truly ideal conditions for mold growth. Scientists call this fungus A. oryzae. It is also known as koji. This fungus helps convert rice starch into glucose, resulting in a powdery paste with a pleasant yellow color and candy-like appearance. It is very important to monitor for mold as it grows on rice, as other common fungi, which can be poisonous, can also grow well, may have to be removed.
At the same time, soybeans are roasted, pounded or sieved into pieces, then boiled with water and poured into crock pots. The jars are then coated and placed in a well-ventilated place to ferment. Once the mold has fully grown, it is mixed into the jars and fermentation will take place for at least 15 to 20 days to produce the final product, fermented soybean paste.
Salt is an indispensable ingredient. Adding the right amount of salt is essential to ensure a good look and long shelf life. The salt can be mixed with the mold after it is prepared or immediately placed in a jar. Both methods, the end result is an ideal mixture of salty, sweet and umami of fermented soybeans.
Where can you find Vietnamese fermented soybean paste?
In Vietnam, special fermented soy sauce is used as a dipping sauce for dishes with rice, comparable to tofu and boiled vegetables. Can be used as a condiment when cooking braised fish or braised vegetables. Particularly in the North, peanut cake is a very popular snack in rural markets. It is a savory cake product made from rice flour and peanuts, then dipped in fermented soybean paste.
The regions in Vietnam that are famous for the custom of making fermented soy sauce include: Ban village in Hung Yen province near Hanoi, Cu Da village in Hanoi and Nam Dan district of Nghe An province. Many individuals use soy sauce and soy sauce interchangeably to seek advice from fermented soy sauce. Ban village has been famous for this product since the late 19th century.
In the South of Vietnam, there is a type of fermented bean paste called soy bean paste. It is made from boiled whole soybeans mixed with roasted roasted soybeans, fermented with rice or corn, or used ready-made soy sauce to speed up the fermentation process. Seed paste can also be used as a condiment for braised fish, tofu or green vegetables. When blended, it can be used as part of a dipping sauce for recent spring rolls.
Vietnamese fermented soybean paste and Japanese miso
If you love Japanese delicacies, you’ve probably tried miso soup, a comforting Japanese dish made with miso paste, seaweed, tofu, and green onions. However, not many people know that miso is definitely a Japanese fermented soybean paste. However, Miso is very similar to Vietnam in terms of factors and production strategy with some variations.
First, in Japan it is not recommended to roast soybeans before boiling. Instead, they are soaked for a day, so the boiled beans are much softer and can be pounded into a thick, paste. Second, steamed rice is mixed with industrially produced koji yeast and fermented for several days to develop into kome koji (rice mold). Finally, the soybean meal and kome koji are mixed with salt and immediately placed in a jar. The ingredients must be weighed to pressurize the combination. That is done with a heavy bag like on this video. The jars are then coated during a month-long fermentation process.
Vietnam’s fermented soybean meal is simply as nutritious as its Japanese cousin, and much more versatile. It can be added to variations of the country’s favorite braised fish (braised fish), used as a dipping sauce for the famous spring roll, or used as a condiment in many vegetarian dishes. The options are innumerable.