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South East Asia Wonders

Passport & Plate - Hakka Yong Tau Foo

China | Friday, March 6, 2015 | 5 photos

Filling for the Tofu

Minced Mackerel (200g)
Minced Pork (200g) using pork with some amount of fat.
Finely chopped Shitake Mushrooms (4-5 pieces)
Finely chopped Water Chestnuts (2-4 pieces)
2-3 eggs
White Pepper powder for flavouring
Salt for flavouring

Semi-firm Tofu
Fried Bean-curd (Tau Foo Pok)

For the broth

Yellow beans
Soya sauce for flavouring


How to prepare this recipe
Semi-firm Tofu (palmed sized)

Carve out pockets in the tofu using a teaspoon.

Fried Bean curd

Cut the squares of bean curd skin in half to make triangle shapes. They will have a natural pocket in the middle for the stuffing.

Fish and Pork Stuffing for the Tofu

Mix evenly- the ground fish, ground pork, mushroom, water chestnuts together in a big pot.
Add a bit of water every now and then to obtain a good consistency.
Beat in 2-3 eggs and mix again.
Add salt and pepper for flavouring.

When the fish and meat mixture is done, stuff the mixture gently into the pockets of the semi-firm tofu and fried bean curd.
Pressing in gently to make sure the filling would stay firm and not fall apart.

When all the semi-firm tofu and fried bean curd is stuffed, heat up the wok, add in enough oil to cover the stuffed tofu and stuffed bean curd.
This step is not to fully cooked the tofu and bean curds but to cook it for the outer skin to be golden brown.
Once the oil is heated, put in the stuffed tofu and bean curd and fry until golden brown in all sides, turning the tofu to make sure all sides are cooked evenly.
Remove from oil and drain them.
That is your fried Yong Tau Foo and bean curds.

Next prepare a medium sized pot, filled the pot with water (half of the pot), add in enough yellow beans to cover the base of the pot,
Next add in and stack the fried Yong Tau Foo and bean curds over each other and bring to boil on high heat.
Once the broth is boiling, add in soya sauce to the broth for flavouring and taste and let it simmer for another 3 to 4 hours.


The story behind this recipe
This is a traditional heirloom dish left by my Grandmother who was originally from Dapu, China.

During the days when current Singapore is still a humble fishing village, there were many immigrants coming to Singapore and my (maternal) grandparents were among them. They travelled to Singapore from a small town called Dapu, known as the Shangri-La of the Hakka ethnic group, situated in Eastern part of China and decided to settle down in the then Singapore.

This dish of Hakka Yong Tau Foo was brought over by my grandmother as it was a traditional Hakka dish and served during reunion dinner during festive and traditional occasion- the Lunar (Chinese) New Year.

Preparing and having this dish for me, it symbolises family, bonding, reunion, harmony, traditions, remembrance, my cultural and ethnic roots. The steps in preparing this dish are tedious as every step requires a certain amount of effort and time spent and every step is essential to make the dish hence when we make this dish, the relatives like aunts, cousins, and at times their children in their teens would all gather to help. We would take the opportunity to chat and catch up on the current events revolving around the family members. Preparing this dish is a family affair as it's to be produced in huge quantities, enough to feed the greedy and huge appetites of 5 generations of my family. This dish has a long time VIP status among many of the different traditional dishes served during the Lunar New Year reunion dinner.

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