Fermented Red Bean Curd In Chinese Fried Ribs


In our family, red bean curd-marinated Chinese fried pork ribs are always a hit at every gathering. Fermented red bean curd and five-spice powder combine to create some of our favorite ribs.

Whether as an appetizer, finger food, or one of several major dishes during a family-style Chinese meal, these Chinese fried spareribs are sure to please. I always make two batches since they go so nicely with a cold beer at a Super Bowl party.

Just be prepared to disappear quickly once they’re on the table. I’ve often stood at the stove and couldn’t get the oil hot enough!


It’s a delicious marinade for these deep-fried pork ribs. Five spice powder, fermented red bean curd, soy sauce, and maple syrup all work well with the Shaoxing wine.

At least a couple of people say (verbatim!), “Dang, these are delicious!” whenever I prepare them.


A unique ingredient in these Chinese deep-fried ribs is red fermented bean curd, which can be bought at any well-stocked Chinese grocery shop under the names “lam yee” (in Cantonese) or “fr” (in Mandarin). Tofu preserved with salt, rice wine, and other flavorings is fermented bean curd. Crimson yeast rice is used to ferment the red variant.

Adding a pure and unadulterated blast of umami to the marinade is difficult to express. Don’t be alarmed by the jar’s ugly appearance. Adding it to the marinade makes a significant difference. When it comes to this situation, a substitution is not an option! In this case, a substitute just isn’t going to do!


  • 2 lb. of pork ribs (cut into 1- to 2-inch nuggets)
  • 1 large piece of red fermented bean curd (along with 1 teaspoon of the sauce from the jar)
  • 1/2 tsp. of ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. of five spice powder
  • 2 tbsp. of Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp. of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of maple syrup (can substitute honey or 2 teaspoons sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 3 cups of canola oil (or peanut oil for frying)


  1. In a large bowl, combine your pork rib chunks and other ingredients. When ready to cook, combine the red fermented bean curd with other ingredients (except cornstarch or frying oil) and mix thoroughly.
  2. Work the mixture into the pork ribs with your hands until they are thoroughly coated. You can marinate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Before cooking pork ribs that have been refrigerated overnight, bring them to room temperature. In a small to medium-sized pot, add 3 to 4 cups of peanut or vegetable oil, or enough to cover the bottom by 2 to 3 inches. Fry your food at 300 degrees F/150 degrees C in your frying oil. Before and during the frying process, it’s ideal to use a kitchen thermometer to keep an eye on the oil’s temperature.
  4. Redistribute any accumulated marinade liquid by tossing in your marinated ribs once they’ve reached room temperature and while your oil is heating. Check to see that everything is well-integrated. To create a uniform coating, begin by adding cornstarch to the meat and mixing until a paste develops.
  5. If you want the best results, cook the pork in heated oil in groups of six to eight ribs each until golden brown and crispy. Once they’re in the oil, use a slotted spoon to separate them, so they don’t stick and fry evenly.
  6. Once the ribs are in, in turn increase the heat because the oil will begin to cold. Maintain a consistent temperature by lowering or raising the heat as necessary while frying. It should take the pork ribs around 5-7 minutes in the pan to cook.
  7. Upon cooking, they should be a light burgundy color and crisp on both sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a piece of paper towel. Serve as soon as all the ribs have been fried!
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