Monday, March 15, 2010

Nam Yee (Red Fermented Beancurd) Chicken Wings

My good friend, SY, came over for dinner some time ago. It was a terribly last minute arrangement. We spoke on the phone just before she knocked off from work, and decided there and then that she would come over for a quick meal. Being the easy-going person she is, she said "anything simple" would do.

Right-O.

I rummaged through my refrigerator and found:
1. Two brinjals, which I used to cook Terong Balado.

2. Half a cabbage, which I stirfried with dried shrimps, garlic and chilli.

3. A packet of frozen chicken wings that I had already marinated and kept frozen.

4. And rice, of course.



At dinner, SY commented that the wings were very flavourful and asked what I used to marinate them. Her jaw dropped when I told her that there was only one ingredient, and it was Nam Yee (腐乳). For those who have no idea what Nam Yee is, you can read about it here and here. It is sometimes referred to as "Chinese cheese" or "soybean cheese", and is sold as little cubes in jars.

Fu-Chung seems to be the most widely available brand, easily found in supermarkets and asian stores. However, I have never tried it. My mother-in-law always gets Nam Yee for me from Chinatown, which are dished out from a huge vat. She insists that the Nam Yee are of a superior quality. I'll take her word for it.

Anyway, I wanted to share this chicken wing recipe, which is hardly a recipe. Whenever I buy chicken wings, I will separate them into packets of ten, and marinate them with just Nam Yee - two cubes* are sufficient for ten wings.
* Nam Yee comes with a soaking liquid. Don't discard that liquid. Use it together with the cubes.

I would then freeze them for later use. They come in handy when you have unexpected guests or when you just want to get food out of the way on busy weekdays (I am sure many mommies know what I am talking about). I like to fry them in a non-stick skillet, and you actually don't need a lot of oil this way. You can try baking them too, although sadly, I have never had luck with baked wings.

The wings taste best when they have been marinated at least for 24 hours. Here are two no-frills combinations I cooked recently with Nam Yee wings.


Fried rice with bean sprouts and french beans, topped with crispy shallots.


Throw in some Nam Yee drumlets for a complete meal. Where are my chopsticks?


There they are. Tuck in! My boys love this combo.


Here's a Cauliflower and Potato Gratin that I baked. Lotsa cream and mozza, and topped with parmesan and panko.


Gratin and wings. My daughter's weekday lunch.

Obviously, the possibilities are endless. Nam Yee imparts a very rich, savoury flavour to dishes ... like what cheese does to pasta sauces. Try using it for cooking veggies too. I frequently use Nam Yee to fry cabbage and glass vermicelli for my husband. It's a fast and easy dish that's suitable for vegetarians.

So, get creative, folks! :)

69 comments:

  1. Hi Ju
    I was told the best Nam Yee comes in a clay container with panda and bamboo shoots on the container. It is a pretty big container.

    Agree that it goes well with chicken wings and of cos the pork belly.

    Yummy!
    : )

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  2. I will look for the red bean curd..I looked for the black bean paste this trip to no avail..just out of stock..next time..

    You know..it's true children like wings..:) something interesting to eat and gnaw on..most adults love them too..Thus the signs "Wing Night!"~ I bet yours are delicious..They look great in the bowl:) I hope you had a wonderful time w/ your friend..
    Everything looks so spotless at your home..
    I think the cauliflower dish could even be a meal on it's own for me.

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  3. I have had Nam Yee Wings but lots of recipe ask for many ingredients to marinade. And yours....only one ingredient by itself. Thanks for trying things out for us readers Ju....such a darling!

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  4. Ju, this looks great. An aunt of mine uses nam yee for braising her pork belly with fungus mushroom. I love eating this dish. You just reminded me of home with your chicken wings.

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  5. OH JU...that all looks so inviting and delicious!
    I have not had my breakfast yet and you have made me hungry for wings!
    I will look for this product next time I visit my Asian Supermarket!
    Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..........
    L~xo

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  6. OK, I'll be right over ;-) I wish. In the meantime, I'll add Nam Yee to my list for Chinatown and look for it in the vat first. The rice looks oh so tasty with the crispy shallots. Where have those been all of my life?

    Thanks Ju.

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  7. I love Nam Yee too, my friend 's mother recently told me to buy another type of good Nam Yee, the taste is really good, next time I show you the picture ya. Can I have a bowl of that fried rice, look super delicious..

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  8. Can I come over for dinner at your house too :) I love chicken wings but never marinate it with Nam Yee. Is about time for me to do so. Have to remember to get a bottle the next time I visit the Asian supermarket.

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  9. I love nam yee with everything , they must be so flavoursome having been marinated for such a long time. I must try to marinate and freeze too, great idea!

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  10. Those chicken wings have my name all over them, they look absolutely wonderful and very juicy :D
    *kisses* HH

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  11. Oh my....thesechicken wongs look really delicious. Sound so simple to make. I have to try this. Now I'm disappointed. I have just bought a bottle of nam yee from Chinatown yesterday...but it's the white type! Maybe I should try it still.

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  12. My mom likes to use nam yee in her cooking too!! I love the look of the chicken... yum yum..... ;)

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  13. I love wings... Never have heard of Nam yee, but will try to track some down... One ingredient, imagine!

    So, stupid question, but I am ignorant on many levels... I just bought 20 pounds of chicken wings... Can i thaw them, marinate them and then refreeze them??? That doesn;t sound right.

    How about thaw them, marinade them, cook them and the freeze them?

    Only way to make wings affordable here is to buy in bulk. But not sure even I can eat 20 pounds in a sitting

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  14. simple yet looks truly delicious! nam yee is something we've yet to try

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  15. Great idea Ju! My grandma used to marinate pork ribs in nam yee and deep fries them...so good!

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  16. Ju, you are a genuis to whip up such a last minute meal for your friends with only your pantry and fridge ingredients. I wish I live closer by to you. I love Nam Yee fried chicken. It's such a aromatic crispy chicken dish.

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  17. I just wanted to tell you that I have packed up my things and have acquired a Visa to go and live with you and eat your food LOL!!! This dish looks too good for words!! The chicken and the gratin...Oh my!!

    I'm sure not only mommies, but daddies, and other people understand what you're talking about! Be expecting new company hehe.

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  18. I've tried red fermented beancurd to marinate and cook chicken wings. It tastes heavenly.
    Your chicken wings make me drool !!!

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  19. I am going to have to look for Nam Yee sauce, it sounds amazing!

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  20. How simple and tasty. I will look out for nam yee!

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  21. I like that fermented beancurd as well. An acquired taste (even for me), but lovely indeed after I "get" it.

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  22. Ju, thanks for sharing this super simple trick. Your food presentation always look so perfectly neat and tidy!

    I'm not so familiar with Nam Yee, guess it is used more commonly in Cantonese instead of Hokkien/Teochew cuisine. Good thing about blogging is that everyone gets to learn things that he/she has not heard before right? ^^

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  23. Fermented Wings, Gratin and Fried Rice ;) I suppose that's make us unique ;)

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  24. Nam yee? I will look for it next time I am at the Asian market! I love those speedy and delicious recipes.
    Also like the cauliflower gratin to balance out the chicken.

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  25. We make this with pork ribs too. So yummy with congee.

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  26. come on, ju! if you didn't tell us its a last minute arrangement, i bet none of us would be able to tell! ;)
    love the flavour nam yee gives. i'm sure the chicken wings were heavenly. mmm!

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  27. As usual, food presentation is awesome. Got to agree Nam Yee is versatile.I used to make nibbles with pork belly marinated with Nam Yee, egg,ginger juice and corn starch.

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  28. would you ask your mum in law where in chinatown she got her nam yee from? :)

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  29. Ju, you call all these "SIMPLE"? Oh man....how I miss fermented beancurd. The gratin looks fabulous too!

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  30. JU!! I am going to have to get this nam yee paste and try it - I love chicken wings. I might try to bake them instead of the skillet. Will let you know the results!

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  31. Any idea where and the name of the shop in Chinatown that your Mom gets her fermented beancurd from?

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  32. Jasmine: She said it's at the market in Chinatown, the one in the basement. She can't tell me which shop, except that it's one selling dried goods. I guess you'll have to ask around. It's $0.50 a piece.

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  33. looks so amazing. i love the combination of taste and color.

    amazing

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  34. This is going to be on high rotation at our house for week night dinners! Thank you for sharing!

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  35. I want to find this nam yee! Also that cauliflower and potato gratin is making me drool.

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  36. I cannot view your blog at this hour - the chicken wings photos making me really hungry now lol

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  37. Ricette geniali, leggerti è un piacere, cosi' come scoprire cose nuove, complimenti.
    Un abbraccio Daniela.

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  38. This is on my to-try list. Now reading your review on nam yee chicken wings, make me eager to try it. :)

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  39. He he he, I cooked nam yee pork last weekend! LOL!

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  40. I never thought to marinade my meat before freezing. It makes so much sense though! haha..will definitely be trying this:)

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  41. oh wow the wings looks devine! I'm living in Sydney but I'm so heading down to the nearest Asian mart to try & find the magical nam yee. Wish me luck!

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  42. I am definitely picking up some nam yee tomorrow at the asian market here in Columbus. Great ideas for simple nourishing recipes. The gratin looks very satisfying as well.

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  43. Hi Ju,

    Did you fried the chicken wings?

    Thank you.

    Mixue

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  44. Chinese blue cheese?

    Now is 9.33am, can I come over for lunch? ;p

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  45. Hi Ju,

    Can you buy namyee from supermarkets like NTUC? I've never used it before but am dying to try - the wings looks delicious!

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  46. Mixue: Yes, I did. My kids like the wings fried.

    quirkywuirky: Yes, you can. You'd probably find the Fu-Chung brand in supermarkets. Just make sure you get RED fermented beancurd, no the white one. The white one is called Fu Yee. Not the same.

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  47. Thanks so much Ju! :)

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  48. They look delicious Ju! :) Hehe chicken wings are my favourite part of the chicken! I always get really excited when someone serves me them or I see them on the menu.

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  49. I am enlightened, who would have thought you could mix the two together. This one's going into my cookbook.

    you never cease to amaze me!

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  50. This is one lucky family to eat this way... I have never heard of this kind of curd... will check it out this weekend..thanks for the new ingredient, Ju!

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  51. Ju, that looks like a royal feast to me! LOL! Oh, nam yee chicken wings are a fave finger food of mine! Yours look finger-lickin' good!

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  52. Wow, didn't think nam yee would work well as a marinade. I gotta try it out myself too!

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  53. What BEAUTIFUL photos! Looks fabulous! Love your blog!

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  54. I'm coming right over! Anything simple will do and just to make a bit more complicated I'm now hungry after seeing your quick, simple dinner!

    Everything looks fantastic!

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  55. Hi Ju,

    I have tried your Moist Banana Cake last night. It came out like you said, light & fluffy but it's a bit dense at the bottom portion, I wonder why and & I have reduced the sugar to 220gm instead of 250gm. Overall it is goooood and my family like it. Thanks a lot for your recipe

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  56. Wow I would never have thought to pair nam yee chicken wings with gratin anything! What an idea! Thanks!

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  57. beautiful chiccken ..I always wondered what to do with fermented beancurd . Now I know.YUMMMM

    ps I thought i had commented on this post JU! i must be getting old. :)

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  58. Hi Ju, you the kind of lady most men would love take home show mummy.
    How many can do what you do at a moments notice....?
    And your repertoire of gourmet dishes would make a Swiss or French cook hide when see you coming, ha ha.
    Have fun, Ju....keep well. Anymore of that chicken left? Ha ha, Lee.

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  59. Thanks for the new ingredient! I am excited to try it---those wings looks delicious!

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  60. Can i come over for a quick meal too!? :)
    I love chicken wings so i'm taking notes of the nam yee secret. I'll be trying that.

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  61. Hello Ju!

    What a tasty & appetizng meal this is!! Vey apart too!

    Yummie,...:)

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  62. What a wonderful combo meal! I love anything with nam yee.

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  63. Namyee fried chicken is a true chinese style fried chicken.
    I love it a lot. And also with pork belly.

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  64. Could I please get your Cauliflower and Potatoe recipe? Please. It looks awesome!

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  65. Could I please get you cauliflower and potatoe Granit recipe please?

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  66. Hi love your simple fried rice that goes well with the drumlets.

    I marinate the same with red fermented beancurd but always grilled it in the oven. It really taste delicious.

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  67. Hi Ju,

    I tried out your nam yee chicken drumlets and they were excellent and yummy. I am wondering if it will still taste just as nice if I use it as a marinade for one whole chicken and bake the chicken in the oven instead of frying it? Have yuo ever tried. I am worried that it will not taste as nice and didnt want to waste one good whole chicken to try it out.....

    OM

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  68. Could you please direct me as to here I can purchase the red fermented bean curd? The Asian market nearest to me does not carry this. I have not been abe to find on line. Thank you, Bob

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