Yong Tau Fu is a Hakka Chinese delicacy that consists of fried tofu pieces stuffed with fish paste and served in a soup or with a sweet sauce. Some traditional recipes involve braising the fried and stuffed tofu pieces.
To date, there are variations to this dish where many other vegetables, such as eggplant, bitter gourd, mushroom, and okra, are stuffed. The stuffed vegetables are either deep-fried or steamed.
There are also variations to the filling of Yong Tau Fu pieces. Besides fish paste, it is now more common to use a mixture of fish paste and ground pork.
Tips for Making Yong Tau Fu
This recipe requires precision to achieve a good texture. Hence, while preparing the ingredients, it is advisable to use a digital kitchen scale instead of measuring cups.
While preparing the vegetables, you can add the scooped tofu into the meat paste to reduce waste production. After scooping the middle parts of the tofu pieces, mince the scooped tofu and add them into the filling ingredients. On a side note, feel free to use any other types of vegetables of your choice. However, make sure that the vegetables you choose can contain a suitable amount of filling.
To prepare the filling, traditional recipes merely use fish pastes. You can use store-bought fish paste or ground some white fish fillets into a thick paste. On the other hand, feel free to use any meat of your choice and ground them into pastes. A mixture of different meats, such as fish, prawns, and pork, gives varieties to the texture of the fillings.
Besides blending the filling ingredients, you can also opt for a food processor. Alternatively, chop the ingredients until they become a paste. The later can be exhausting and time-consuming.
When you’re stuffing the vegetables with the filling, it is advisable to overstuff them a little, especially on the sides and the top. This is because the meat paste tends to shrink when it is cooked.
During the deep-frying session, some vegetables are cooked faster than the others. Be sure to keep an eye on the stuffed vegetables and remove them from the oil when they’re cooked. Meanwhile, if you choose to steam the stuffed vegetables, steam them in batches so that you don’t overcrowd your steamer.
Yong Tau Fu Recipe: How to Make Homemade Yong Tau FuDifficulty: Easy
Prepare Yong Tau Fu by stuffing the meat paste into different vegetables. Then, you can either steam or deep-fry the stuffed vegetables until the meat paste is cooked. Serve Yong Tau Fu with soup or sauce.
5 -6 tofu puffs
1/2 large block of firm tofu – if not using tofu puffs
1 medium Chinese eggplant
1 large bitter gourd
6 okra (lady’s finger)
6 large shiitake mushrooms – soaked until soft if using dried
350g of ground pork
350g of fish paste
1 tablespoon of corn starch
20g of salted fish
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 stalks of green onion – finely chopped
8 cups of chicken stock
100g of small dried anchovies
1 cup of soybeans
1 tablespoon of Better than bouillon – optional
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt to taste
- Sweet sauce
1 teaspoon of cooking oil
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of ground soybean sauce
1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of sugar – or more to taste
2 teaspoons of corn starch + 3 teaspoons of water
1 stalk of green onions – finely chopped
- Prepare some warm water and soak the dried shiitake mushrooms. When the mushrooms turn soft, remove their stems.
- Next, cut the firm tofu in 6 equal pieces. Using a spoon, scoop out the middle part of each piece.
- Remove both ends of the bitter gourd and then slice it into 1 -inch ring. Using your fingers, push and discard the seeds in the middle of each circle.
- Slice the okra lengthwise in half. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out.
- Slice the eggplants into 1/2-inch pieces
- In a blender, put in all the ingredients of the filling, except for the green onions.
- Blend the mixture until it forms a thick paste.
- Then, mix the paste evenly with green onions and lightly blend it again.
- Set the filling aside, preferably covered and in a refrigerator.
- In a pot, pour in the chicken stock and bring it to a boil.
- Next, add the anchovies, soybeans, and better than bouillon. Bring the mixture to a boil again.
- Once the mixture is boiling, switch to low heat and let it simmer for around 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, strain the soup. Season it with some salt and sugar.
- Sweet Sauce
- On a small saucepan, add in cooking oil.
- Once the oil is heated, stir fry the minced garlic until fragrant.
- Then, stir in water, ground bean sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.
- Stir the mixture until the sugar melts.
- Stir the corn starch solution evenly and pour it into the mixture. Continue to stir until the sauce is thickened.
- By using a spoon or a table knife, scoop the filling and stuff it into all the vegetables. Remember to overstuff a little as the meat paste will shrink when it is cooked.
- If you intend to deep-fry, prepare a wok. Heat some oil to medium-high heat and fry the stuffed vegetables until they are cooked.
- If you intend to steam, pour some water in a steamer and bring it to a boil. Place the stuffed vegetables on the steaming tray and steam for about 15 minutes.
- Garnish the deep-fried or steamed Yong Tau Fu with some green onions. Serve the dish with the soup and sauce.
Ways to Enjoy Yong Tau Fu
Serve Yong Tau Fu in either dry or soup version, or both! If you want to serve the soup version, place the Yong Tau Fu pieces in a large bowl and generously pour the soup into the bowl. If you intend to serve the dry version, you can either drizzle your sauce on the Yong Tau Fu pieces or serve it separately for dipping.
Yong Tau Fu is usually eaten as a side dish in many other Chinese delicacies, such as Chee Cheong Fun, curry noodles, fried noodles, and beef noodles.
Explore other popular Malaysian delights with Lokataste Recipe and more!