Tawsi (alternate spelling: tausi) or fermented black soybeans (douchi in Chinese) is a popular seasoning in Chinese cuisine that the Filipinos, like many other ingredients and recipes from that culture, adopted in their cooking. It is often used to add flavor to fish, meat, and vegetables. They’re usually sold in Asian stores either dried, packed in plastic, or canned with brine. In Philippines, you can easily find them in any public markets or grocery stores. Please note that this type of salted black beans is different from the one you often find in regular grocery stores. The beans, although similar in color, are much smaller and much saltier. The taste and appearance vary by brand. My favorite is Yang Jiang Preserved Beans because of its distinct taste and added ginger. You can find it here.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Yields: 4-5 servings
One (2 lbs) tilapia fish, cleaned and cut into serving pieces
½ tsp salt (for salting fish before frying)
1 ½ cup vegetable oil for frying
½ medium onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup fermented salted black beans, drained (I use dried, flavored with ginger, so no need to drain)
1 thumb size ginger, grated (Note: add this only if you use fermented black beans without additional flavor of ginger, otherwise, the ginger flavor will be too overpowering.)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup water
Things You’ll Need:
1. Salt tilapia and fry in 1 ½ cup oil. For detailed steps on how to do this, refer to my other post Fried Tilapia Slices.
2. Heat wok/skillet and add 1 tbsp of oil that you use for frying the fish previously. Sauté garlic and onions until garlic has slightly browned and onions have become translucent, about 2 minutes.
3. Add fermented black beans (tawsi/tausi), ginger, and sugar. Sauté for another minute.
4. Add water and ground black pepper. Stir just to mix. Add fish slices and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the water has reduced (almost dry).
5. Serve best with rice.