Stir Fried Sweet Potato Shoots with Fermented Beancurd

I know some of you might squirm at the thought of eating something fermented but fermented beancurd is something of a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. Also known as “tau zhu” in hokkien, the fermented beancurd comes in many varieties – red fermented beancurd (which is usually used in the marinating of meat), fermented beancurd with sesame or plain spicy fermented beancurd.

Local chinese eateries here serve leafy greens stir fried with fermented beancurd amongst other styles. The fermented beancurd gives the vegetables a slightly spicy (owing to the use of chilli in the fermentation process) and salty (salt is also used in the fermentation process) taste. Usually, a small piece of fermented beancurd suffice. You can use “yau mak” or any suitable lettuce to cook this or you can follow me by using the tender sweet potato shoots (“fan shee mew” in Cantonese or “fan soo chai” in Mandarin).

This is my recipe for Stir Fried Sweet Potato Shoots with Fermented Beancurd



  • 300 grammes of sweet potato shoots (pluck leaves with tender stems)
  • 1 to 2 pieces fermented beancurd
  • 5 cloves garlic (chopped finely or sliced)
  • 20 grammes (or a small handful) of dried prawns (pre-soaked to soften)
  • 50 ml hot water
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil



Heat oil in wok on high heat till smoky. Add garlic, dried prawns and fermented beancurd together and stir very quickly.

Just as garlic turning golden brown, add sweet potato shoots and leaves and stir well. Add water whilst stirring.

Once leaves have turned limp, dish up and serve.

I usually don’t add seasoning because the fermented beancurd plus pre-soaked dried prawns would give the vegetables a nice flavour already.

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  1. 1
    January 25th, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    You have a very nice blog, good post…keep up the good job

  2. 2
    Lil' Ms Pinky
    January 25th, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    Hi…I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they turned out beautifully. I will give this a try too once I get my hands on fermented beancurd.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. 3
    crunchasaurus rex
    January 26th, 2008 at 2:03 am

    To be honest.. i’ve never been a real fan of fermented beancurd.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. 4
    Bee Nee
    January 26th, 2008 at 6:27 am

    ooooh.. my grandma used to grow sweet potato shoots in her garden. and cook them with tauchu all the time… yummy. miss that so much! =(

  5. 5
    January 29th, 2008 at 4:26 am

    I love sweet potato shoot…but I can’t seem to find any of them in this place where I’m living…I miss them a lot too!

  6. 6
    January 30th, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Sorina : Come back often ๐Ÿ˜€

    Ms Pinky : Thanks for the feedback. Hope you’ll be able to get the fermented beancurd soon and try this delicious stir fry soon.

    Crunchasaurus : Yes, the taste might not be agreeable for some. Just the name “fermented” itself can be a turn off. But then again, cheese is sort of fermented stuff, isn’t it? LOL!

    Bee Nee : Eh? Stir fry sweet potato shoots with taucheo? That’s interesting. Haven’t tried that before. I think a little bit of chilli with it would be excellent ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Yen : Ooo…..sorry to hear that. Whereabouts are you?

  7. 7
    March 15th, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I made this with kangkung (water spinach) and it was absolutely delicious. It so quick and simple, not to mention cheap, it is one of my latest favourites.

  8. 8
    March 17th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Andrew : Yes, it works well with kangkung too ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. 9
    May 24th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I’ve made a similar dish without the dried shrimp (my kids don’t like them…hmmmph) using spinach in one occassion and using nappa cabbage in another. Instead of water, I added chicken broth. They love both dishes… I will try this with Pea Shoots since there is no sweet potato shoots in Washington state. Keep up the good work!

  10. 10
    May 27th, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Tuty : Wow! Chicken broth will definitely give it an oompphhhh in the taste! I would go easy on them though because personally, I don’t like my vegetables to be soaking in gravy ๐Ÿ˜€

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