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Fermented Tofu and Pork (Wednesday Photo)

Michael Babcock, Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Stir-fried Fermented Tofu and Pork Belly

Fermented Tofu Dish

Fermented Tofu and Pork

One of my very favorite Thai dishes, probably in the top 5, is Stir-fried Fermented Tofu and Pork Belly. I first ate it at our beloved Ruen Mai Restaurant in Krabi, Thailand. Kasma calls her version, pictured above, Stir-Fried Pork Belly with Fermented Tofu Sauce and Thai Chillies (Moo Sahm Chan Pad Dtow Hoo Yee). Ruen Mai calls it Pad Mu Tao Hu Yi and describes it as “fried pork with fermented bean curd and some garlic.”

The brine from the red fermented tofu adds a wonderful sourness that contrasts and blends with the generous addition of garlic and chillies. We love to make it with pork belly (the cut used to make bacon) for the delightful combination of pork meat and fat.

I know of no place in the U.S. other than Kasma’s kitchen where you can get this dish! (Although there may be a restaurant somewhere in the U.S. that serves it.)

You can also check out Ruen Mai’s version of this dish.

We are not big fans of soy, in general. Traditionally, it was only eaten in its fermented form, for the fermentation helps to ameliorate some of soy’s problems (such as high levels of phytic acid, which interfere with mineral absorption, and its anti-thyroid properties).

If you think non-fermented soy is a healthy food, you might want to read a summary of the dangers of soy and follow some of the links below the summary. Here are three good places to start.


The Wednesday Photo is a new picture each week highlighting something of interest in Thailand. Click on the picture to see a larger version.