Tuong: Vietnamese fermented soybean jam

If you've ever been to Vietnam, you know that the abundance of fermented condiments in this country is really amazing. Besides the famous fish sauce and shrimp paste, another common condiment in many Vietnamese households is “tuong”, a kind of fermented bean paste made from soybean, which is low in fat and calories and high in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

A: Welcome to this week’s “Food delight” with a recipe to help you diversify your menu. We’re A and B, and we’re always happy to be here to share some recipes with you. B: Hello, you guys. If you've ever been to Vietnam, you know that the abundance of fermented condiments in this country is really amazing. Besides the famous fish sauce and shrimp paste, another common condiment in many Vietnamese households is “tuong”. VOV, VOVworld, Tương, Vietnamese fermented Soybean Jam, soy flakes, glutinous rice, fungiMaking “tuong” requires technique and patience. (Photo: topplus.vn)

A : “Tuong” is a kind of fermented bean paste made from soybean, which is low in fat and calories and high in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.

B: Making “tuong” requires technique and patience. The techniques for making this traditional sauce are handed down within families. Each family has its own secrets for making tuong delicious. A: The ingredient list is short, the items are simple and inexpensive, and yet the flavors are delectable. Mrs. Tran Thi Thuy of Hung Yen province, who has 10 years experience making and selling “tuong”, tells us how “tuong” can be made at home. “To make good ‘tuong’, the soy beans should be selected carefully, washed, and dried in the sun before being roasted into flakes. Put the soy flakes in a clay jar with water and let them sit for a week with a lid on. Then prepare a mold using glutinous rice. Wash the rice carefully, steam it, and spread the rice on a thin bamboo basket covered by longan leaves. It will take at least a week for fungi to transform the rice into a powdery mixture with a nice golden color and a sweet taste. It is important to keep track of the mold as it develops on the rice, as sometimes other toxic types of fungi could develop as well, which will need to be removed.” VOV, VOVworld, Tương, Vietnamese fermented Soybean Jam, soy flakes, glutinous rice, fungiThe ingredient list is short, the items are simple and inexpensive, and yet the flavors are delectable (Photo: baonghean.vn)

A: Each family has their own way to make the mold, which is the most difficult and tedious part of the manufacturing process. The basic principle is to let the fermented rice generate heat and create ideal conditions for the fungi to grow.

B: Thuy says the rice should be cooked with less water than usual. The fermentation process will take approximately 7 to 10 days. Some people insist the sauce is more delicious if it is made with rain water. A: When the rice mold is fully developed, it is put into jars, and the fermentation process is continued for at least 15 to 20 more days to create the final product - fermented soybean paste. “Salt is an indispensable ingredient. You should add the proper amount of salt to the jars to ensure good flavor and long storage time. The result is salty, sweet fermented soybean. ‘Tuong’ can be added to braised fish or braised duck, used as a dipping sauce for boiled morning glory, a kind of spinach grown widely in Vietnam, or used as a condiment in many vegetarian dishes,” Thuy said.
A: It takes less time to make soy sauce in the summer and more time in the winter, according to Thuy, so if you don’t have good technique, it will be impossible to make soy sauce during the winter, when it usually takes a month to make a batch.
B: In Vietnam, fermented soybean jam is mainly used as dipping sauce for dishes served with rice, such as tofu and boiled vegetables. This traditional jam is also served with Vietnamese steamed rice cake, a popular snack sold in rural markets.
A: In the past, every household stored several jars of soy sauce to eat all year round. Nowadays, tuong can be found in almost every market or supermarket nationwide, as well as in Vietnamese grocery stores overseas.
B: If you try making tuong at home, let us know! Leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag a photo on Facebook at VOV5 English Service, hashtag VOV#FOODDELIGHT#ICANCOOK#.
A: We’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, friends!
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Experts: Foreign policy greatly enhances Vietnam’s stature

Foreign experts highlighted that Vietnam's foreign policy multilateralisation and diversification of external relations has contributed to enhancing the country’s position. Read more »

Busy year-end fish market at Phu Quoc port

In Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island, fishermen are occupied with selling the last catch of fresh seafood in the lead-up to Lunar New Year. Read more »

Vietnamese artist makes painting out of lotus leaves

An artist in Vietnam's Mekong Delta is making paintings out of lotus leaves. The 62-year-old man's artwork includes portraits of the great world leaders and Vietnam's late revolutionary figures. Read more »

Busy year-end fish port in Phu Quoc

In Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island, fishermen are occupied with selling the last catch of fresh seafood in the lead-up to Lunar New Year. Read more »

Vietnam Airlines responsible for serving party congress delegates

Vietnam Airlines responsible for serving party congress delegates Read more »

Busy year-end fish market in Phu Quoc

In Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island, fishermen are occupied with selling the last catch of fresh seafood in the lead-up to Lunar New Year. Read more »

Busy year-end fish market in Kien Giang

In Phu Quoc, Vietnam's largest island, fishermen are occupied with selling the last catch of fresh seafood in the lead-up to Lunar New Year. Read more »

Southeast Asia’s tallest Buddha statue inaugurated in Vietnam

A gigantic Buddha statue, which stands 73 meters tall and required four years of construction, was inaugurated in southern Vietnam last week, claiming the title of Southeast Asia’s tallest. In commemoration of the Buddha’s... Read more »

74-year-old man helps Saigonese cope with floods by clearing canals, with video

During heavy rains and high tides, a 74-year-old man in HCM City often picks up trash and clears sewer pipes. One day, when trying to collect garbage, he was swept away by water... Read more »

Beach tours to be top choice for Vietnamese Traditional Tet

As a traveler to Vietnam, there are certain things you should know about Tet. At the very least, you should have an idea whether your upcoming Vietnam holiday will coincide with this grand... Read more »