Taucu Cap Orkid 蘭花豆酱

I was watching the TV on my previous trip back home and Astro AEC was running a show which talks about the 老字号 good old brands of Malaysia. It was quite interesting, so I ended up staying on this show even though I was actually watching a re-run of The Voice. By the way, sad to hear about Christina Grimmie being shot dead by a crazy fan.

That particular episode featured a 1930s matchstick factory in Kelantan, an equally old tea leaves distributor in Penang (which I have not heard before, surprise surprise), and an equally old factory in Perak that produces this:

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蘭花豆酱. Taucu Cap Orkid. Orchid Brand Fermented Soy Bean Paste.

Taucu is basically the brainchild of industrious Malaysian Chinese immigrants of the mid 1800s/early 1900s. It is the byproduct of soy sauce making. Well, soy sauce is made by fermenting soy beans and then squeezed to separate the liquid soy sauce from the beans. The leftover bean paste, while ugly, still retains some of the saltiness so instead of throwing them away, folks began to cook this shit with sugar and salt, pack them in jars and sold them as cheap alternative to soy sauce. Hence, the taucu is born.

Seeing this on TV brings back certain childhood memories to me. You see, my grandma was an old school Taiping woman, and she loved this fermented paste. When she was still actively cooking, this extremely salty paste was a staple in our diet, much like what those aunties in the TV show claimed. She’d add a tablespoon of this (or maybe a few tablespoons) into her pork belly stir fry or minced pork stir fry or best of all, ikan bilis (dried anchovies) stir fry.

So when I spotted this on the shelves while grocery shopping last weekend, I grabbed it without thinking. Hence, the picture above. 🙄

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Stir fry this shit with some minced pork and dried anchovies

I don’t have dark (heavily caramelized) soy sauce so this dish does not appear dark like how my grandma liked it, and I doubt I will ever be as “brave” as my grandma so I only used half a tablespoon for two portions of this bilis minced pork.

Still, the fragrance… it stayed in the house long after I have had dinner and chucked the remaining half into the fridge. Now my fridge smells wonderful as well.

Now this would go extremely well with rice, but I did not buy rice because I still have some of those linguine left in my disposal, so…

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Taucu bilis minced pork with boiled linguine and veggie it is!

So, sooooo good! Crispy anchovies with nostalgic salty minced pork and beans… om nom nom nom~~~


  1. I like cooking with taucu (same a taucheow, right?) because it is so tasty. Goes well with pork, chicken and fish. What you did with the linguine looks delish!

    • I don’t know what is taucheow. Maybe is the same thing, different pronunciation. Fermented soybean paste lah…

      You mean my linguine look delish or the taucu pork make the linguine look delish? Nowadays I cook my pasta using Gennaro way. I don’t pour my sauce over the pasta, instead I put the cooked pasta back into the pan and stir it up with the sauce before serving. 🙄

  2. I like ikan bilis too! Yes, I am sure it is fragrant.. add a dash of sugar to the meat and ikan bilis.. best in the whole world.. hahaha… can go well with white teochew porridge too!

  3. This Orkid is a good brand, I think. I recently switched my soya sauce to this brand 🙂 I think taucu is the same as “meen si”. The fermented black soybeans….isn’t that called “tau si”? Is this dish salty?….since both components (taucu & ikan bilis) is very salty.

    • Actually taucu is not black beans but soy beans. They are made with leftover bean paste from soy sauce production. Meen si, they ferment the black beans from fresh and take everything I think 😐 .

  4. That incident is a such a tragedy. She was so young and had such a bright future ahead of her and this random someone just had to take it away from her.

    Is taucu the same as meensi? My mother used to cook pork ribs steamed with meensi but I don’t know which brand of meensi that she uses.

    wow! You created a fusion food for your dinner. How come you did not use pork belly like your grandma did? Did you deep fry your own anchovies? Or did you buy ready deep fried anchovies? I don’t even know that they sell ready-made deep fried anchovies – still crispy? Your food must be so very fragrant and flavourful! Delicious for you. I guess there will be many more tauchu dishes from now on since you have a big bottle there.

    • This shows life is impermanent, anybody can die anytime regardless of age, by the way, I had posted something about the topic of death in my blog, hop over to it when you are free

    • Not same, meensi if I am not mistaken is fermented from black beans. Taucu is soy beans leftover from soy sauce production.

      Hahaha I wanted to do pork belly, but it was sold out when I did my grocery shopping. I deep fry the anchovies myself lah, I bought a packet to make the ABC soup 🙄 .

      • No lah, meensi is brown colour and I have eaten enough meensi to know that they are made from soybean and not black beans. Those salted black beans are tau si as in tau si ling yu 豆豉鲮鱼 cans of those china brand where the dace fish has been deep fried. Have you eaten those deep fried dace fish available in cans with tau si (salted black beans) in the cans too? Very tasty but supposedly not heatlhy. Meen si is definitely not those. Meen si is tauchu lah, confirmed with my mother d.

        There is a canned mackerel called tau si yu and that tau si is salted black beans. How about that to confuse you about tau si and tau cu?

        • Wah, you so keng, deep fried those anchovies yourself! It didn’t make your place all smoky and oily? What did you do with the oil after you have deep fried those anchovies? How did you dispose of the oil? Reuse them day by day to cook your dinners until they are all used up?

          • Huh? It wasn’t hard, just heat oil and chuck anchovies in and leave it alone for a few minutes. How hard can it be? I didn’t do a big batch, just enough for my dinner (and next day’s dinner), so there wasn’t a lot of oil involved. They all stayed in the pan with the minced pork. 🙄

            But yeah, my kitchen smelled wonderful for a couple of days. 😛

  5. Is caramelised soya sauce similar to kijap manis? The latter can be made at home at a fraction of the price. In a saucepan, simmer some dark soya sauce and brown sugar (we only have one type here) till it is reduced. Best to add the brown sugar gradually. It will keep for ages in a sterilised glass jar.

    • Hmm, I’m not sure, my caramelized soy sauce = dark soy sauce. It is very black and thick, but in terms of flavors is mild compared to light soy sauce.

    • Hahaha, who knows… although my cooking is only good for my tummy, I doubt it will be good enough for others.

  6. Oh yum, I really like tauchu (and I think dausi). My mum would use it in her cooking sometimes when I was growing up, and meensi too. She liked to cook with tofu. Never with ikan bilis but that sounds like a great combo. I missed out 🙁

    • Ikan bilis is more of a kampung dish. If your mom did not grow up in the villages, she probably won’t think about it.

      • I think she simply couldn’t be bothered cooking the ikin bilis or peeling the ikan bilis or whatever, something along those lines. She would always, always put ikin bilis in the fried rice when we lived in Malaysia.

        • Not sure about your mom’s days, but nowadays bilis is easy. You just buy a pack from the supermarket, soak and wash them for a bit, then chuck into the frying pan.

    • Hahaha well, linguine is kind of like Italian pan mee. Rumored that pasta was invented by Marco Polo with reference to China noodles.

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