A fairly common fermented product found in stores big and small here in the Philippines is tausi. In this recipe, we’re combining the tausi with the rind of preserved calamansi for a tausi and calamansi stir-fry paste that can add citrusy brightness to this savory umami bomb.
Tausi remains popular because it is a fast and easy way to add flavor to dishes. Of Chinese origin, tausi, also known as douchi or tochi, is widely used in a lot of Chinese-inspired ulam and celebration dishes, whether steamed, stewed, or stir fried.
Tausi used to be found in bulk in the palengke and sold per guhit (100 grams) with some of its brine. These days, tausi can also be found in jars and cans on supermarket shelves. While some still carry the word fermented on their labels, others just say salted, so it is best to pay attention.
This is a simple seasoning paste that you can use when you want something quick but deep flavored. It uses some of the brine, which is very salty, so keep this in mind when using the paste. This is great tossed over high heat with fried tofu and different kinds of vegetables and best served with steaming hot rice.
- 1 small can of tausi
- 1 Tbsp muscovado or coconut sugar
- 3 to 4 preserved calamansi
- 1 tsp fermented hot sauce (optional)
- Remove the seeds and pulp of the preserved calamansi. Roughly chop the rind into smaller pieces.
- Drain the tausi and set aside the brine. Do not rinse the tausi.
- Tip the tausi, sugar, preserved calamansi, and hot sauce (if using) into a mortar and pestle and pound to a paste.* Add a bit of the brine until you have a paste-like consistency.
- Taste and add more sugar, preserved calamansi, or hot sauce according to preference
- Keep in the refrigerator when not in use.
*You can also use a blender but be patient as the small amount will make it a little challenging to blend properly. Adding the brine will help but note that this will make it extra salty. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture from the sides of the blender.
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