鹹豆漿 (xian dou jiang) “Salty” Soy Milk

鹹豆漿 (xian dou jiang) Salty Soy Milk reminds me of those old, traditional, bustling breakfast joints in Taipei. With their large vats of soy milk, huge woks of hot oil for frying the 油條 (youtiao) (those long fried sticks of dough that could loosely be described as a sort of unsweetened donut), collections of savory breakfast foods, and haggard looking staff that have been up since god knows when preparing food for the city’s populous. Getting breakfast out is common in Taiwan’s cities and rather cheap. Unlike here in the West, in Taiwan breakfast is centered more on protein than on carbohydrates. So instead of eating Corn Flakes or muffins which could leave you hungry in an hour or two, you might just make it to lunch without hunger pangs.

Salty Soy Milk, is not so much salty as it is savory.  However, 鹹(xian) translates as ‘salty’ so there it stands. Even though salt is really not the predominant flavor. Not with the pungent addition of small dried shrimp, dried radish or sichuan mustard, sesame oil, and green onion, anyway. It is definitely savory. Also with the addition of vinegar it does not look like soy milk for long. It quickly curdles, this is neither unexpected nor undesirable, but you don’t have to add vinegar if you don’t want, for that matter the small dried shrimp are optional too, but they give the dish a more authentic flavor.

The soy milk you can easily make yourself or buy some plain unsweetened stuff. The youtiao, I find easier just to buy. If you can’t find a market that sells them fresh, sometimes you can find them in the freezer section. As for the small dried shrimp use the 蝦皮 (xia pi), the little whitish ones, instead of the 蝦米 (xia mi), the little reddish ones.

I list two recipes below. One for Soy Milk and one for Black Soy Milk. You can use either type of soy milk for either recipe, it is just one recipe is a simpler version and the other is a more complex one.

Salty Soy Milk, if you take the picture quick enough you can catch it before it curdles.

鹹豆漿 Salty Soy Milk (~2 bowls)

Recipe:

  • 2 1/2 -3 c. hot unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/4 -1/2 youtiao, cut into 1/2 inch segments
  • 1/2 T. small dried shrimp 蝦皮 (xia pi)
  • 2 T. chopped dried radish 蘿蔔乾 (luobo gan) or 菜脯 (cai fu)
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • dash of soy sauce (x2)
  • 1/2 t. of white vinegar (x2) (optional)
  • pinch of sugar (x2)
  • pinch of salt (x2)
  • dash of sesame oil (x2)

Method:

  1. Rinse and drain the dried radish and the dried shrimp. Place 1/2 T. of oil in a wok and over medium heat fry the dried shrimp and dried radish until fragrant. Remove from heat and divide among two bowls.
  2. In each of the bowls place half of the chopped green onion, a dash of soy sauce, 1/2 t. of white vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Pour half of the hot soy milk in one bowl and half in the other. Put several pieces of youtiao in each bowl. Finish off with a dash of sesame oil in each and serve.

鹹黑豆漿 Salty Black Soy Milk (~2 bowls)

Recipe:

  • 2 1/2 -3 c. hot unsweetened black soy milk
  • 1/4 -1/2 youtiao, cut into 1/2 inch segments
  • 1/2 T. small dried shrimp 蝦皮 (xia pi)
  • 2 T. of chopped pickled sichuan mustard 榨菜 (zha cai)
  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 1-2 t. chopped cilantro
  • big pinch of pork floss 肉鬆 (rou song) (x2)
  • 1 t. black vinegar (x2)
  • 1/2 t. soy sauce (x2)
  • pinch of salt (x2)
  • pinch of sugar (x2)
  • dash of sesame oil (x2)
  • dash of hot sesame oil (x2)

Method:

  1. Rinse and drain the dried shrimp. Place 1/2 T. of oil in a wok and over medium heat fry the dried shrimp and the zha cai/pickled sichuan mustard until fragrant. Remove from heat and divide among two bowls.
  2. In each of the bowls place half of the chopped green onion, half of the chopped cilantro, a big pinch of pork floss, 1/2 t. soy sauce, 1 t. of black vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of sugar.
  3. Pour half of the hot soy milk in one bowl and half in the other. Put several pieces of youtiao in each bowl. Finish off with a dash of sesame oil and a dash of hot sesame oil in each bowl and serve.

Salty Soy Milk made with Black Soy Milk

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2 Responses to 鹹豆漿 (xian dou jiang) “Salty” Soy Milk

  1. dayzeahead says:

    hi…I liked your recipes for salty dou jiang and will like to link to your site…thanks!

  2. Pingback: DAY 2: Fu Hang Dou Jiang / Beitou/ Damsui | dayzeahead

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