Chef Andrew Wong created the first Michelin two-star Chinese restaurant outside Asia. His London-based A Wong is an homage to China’s 3,000-year culinary history and a contemporary spin on the country’s regional cuisine.
Fermented wild sea bass and fermented coconut are part of the “Taste of China” dinner menu. A popular dish called “Why the Buddha Didn’t Jump Over the Wall” is barbecued sweet potato covered in a fermented, salted black-bean relish. It’s no surprise Wong’s favorite ingredient is fermented bean curd. He says the tofu, soaked in salt and chili, is as close to cheese as you can get in China. It’s eaten with congee and used as a condiment.
“It’s very salty; umami in its purest form,” Wong says. “I use it a lot in my cooking, especially in vegetarian dishes where we can’t use oyster sauce. We cook it out with some stock, ginger, garlic, and make a sauce. The combination of vegetables, garlic, chili and fermented bean curd creates a really deep meaty flavor.”
He advises chefs to use it like a stock cube, because it’s soft and will coat the mouth in umami flavor.
Read more (Guardian)