Fermented tofu flavors chicken dish
YOU get a little, you give a little -- and everybody eats well.
A couple of weeks ago I found Georgiane Senda some Asian-style recipes appropriate for a diabetic diet. She said thanks by coming up with a recipe that another reader was seeking -- Chicken Mahr Far.
Alyce Takami is after that dish, which she described as deep-fried chicken with fermented tofu cubes. The exact spelling of this dish comes up in various ways -- Mah Far, Mar Far, etc. Senda calls it Mah Fry.
"My family has been making Chicken Mah Fry for New Year's for as long as I can remember," she says.
Considering that Senda grew up in Idaho, this was a bit of a project. The bean curd had to come all the way from Portland, Ore., through her sister. She's been in Hawaii now since 1979, which makes it simpler.
FIND fermented bean curd in Asian markets such as 99 Ranch. This ingredient -- I learned from the Soy Foods Center -- is made of tofu cubes injected with mold and packed in brine. Varieties are available with sesame oil and chili peppers. It has many names in Chinese, among them doufuru (bean spoiled milk -- very appetizing). The Senda family uses the Okinawan name, funyu.
Do not be alarmed by the idea of using it. I thought it would be stinky and opened the jar with great trepidation, but it really is no more pungent than a mild cheese. The flavor it adds is a distinctive soy-beaniness.
Senda calls this an "eyeball" recipe in that proportions are estimates. Taste the marinade before adding the raw egg. The recipe originally called for a whole chicken cut in pieces, but she says her family uses chicken wings and breast nuggets.
Chicken Mah Fry
3 pounds chicken parts
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fermented bean curd, mashed
Combine marinade ingredients, except egg. Taste and adjust seasonings. Beat in egg. Marinate chicken, refrigerated, overnight.
Preheat oil to 350 degrees.
Remove chicken from marinade and dredge in flour. Shake to remove excess. Fry until crisp and cooked though. Drain well on paper towels. Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 370 calories, 15 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 105 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,900 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, no fiber, 17 g sugar, 36 g protein.
Send queries along with name and phone number to: "By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. Or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org