Mangyun Fermented Tofu, a Cuisine Has a Long History

Mangyun Ancient Town, located at Yingjiang County, Yunnan Province, was once the main artery of the Silk Road. This small town has gathered a wealth of historical cultural resources. As one of the three treasures of Mangyun, the crispy fermented beancurd is a delicious dish that goes with almost anything.


It can be used as a sauce and eaten with a steaming bowl of rice noodles or with steamed buns that have just come out of the steamer. When you bite into the fermented beancurd, you can taste a mild spicy flavor mixed with a strong aroma. This breakfast with the local characteristics of Mangyun can make people feel refreshed all day.


Every place has its own flavor. In Mangyun, the taste of home is the crispy fermented beancurd made by local family.

The crispy fermented beancurd, also known as fermented tofu in other places, is a traditional folk food of the Han nationality spread for thousands of years in China. Because of its good taste, high nutrition, smelly smell and special flavor, it is loved by the Chinese people and people in Southeast Asia.


Mangyun crispy fermented beancurd has a century-old history. Its production skills have been listed in the fourth batch of intangible cultural heritage of Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture. The process and formula are unique. Since ancient times, the unique water quality of Mangyun makes tofu delicate and can maintain its original flavor. Dishes made with this crispy fermented beancurd can have a lot of different flavors.


A jar of crispy fermented beancurd needs to go through 12 processes, such as material selection, soaking, cleaning, grinding (filtering), boiling, pressing, curing and so on, usually takes 3 months. The raw material, soybean, requires full with thin skin. It needs to be cleaned and soaked for one night. Then ground it with a ratio of 6 kilograms of water per kilogram of soybean. After filtering out the soybean residue, the pulp is boiled in a big fire, and then the soybean milk is marinated to condense into tofu. In this step, the unique traditional sour water of Mangyun is the key to making the crispy fermented tofu.


Cut the tofu into about 3cm pieces and put them neatly on the bamboo pieces. Then cover them tightly with cloth to keep the temperature. After fermented, the sliced tofu will become hairy, which will be marinated with chili powder, fennel seeds, Sichuan pepper powder, salt, ginger slices and rice wine, and then packed into cans, then the crispy fermented beancurd is ready.


The crispy fermented tofu goes with almost anything, such as buns, er kuai, rice cake, and even bread. In addition, it can be eaten with noodles, rice noodles, porridge, and even some people eat it directly. When the jar is opened, the fragrance of chili, Sichuan pepper and beans come out. With chopsticks gently pick, the white beancurd will be exposed. It can melt slowly in your mouth. It tastes a slight spicy, numbed, and salty.



The crispy fermented beancurd, also known locally as "red beancurd", compared with other beancurd, the outside is like wrapped in a layer of crispy skin, and the inside is harder than other beancurd. This feature makes it easy to preserve during transportation, while playing the function of locking juice and retaining fragrance. The well-kept shape and taste can bring the purest flavor to distant places.

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(Editors: Christine, Amy)

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