Monday, 8 September 2008

Yong tau foo (酿豆腐) - stuffed peppers and aubergine/eggplant

Yong tau foo (酿豆腐) is one of my favourite food from back home. It is a popular dish in Singapore and Malaysia and literally translates as 'stuffed tofu'. I made a stuffed fried tofu puffs dish a while ago as an entry for a blog event, but other ingredients such as okra/ladies fingers, chillies, peppers, eggplant/aubergine and tofu sheets are also commonly used.

I don't make this dish very often because it is so labour intensive. But because few places in the UK sell them, making them was the only way to satisfy my cravings. I also had to make the fish paste filling myself since none were sold ready made. But I have seen ready made fish paste sold in Chinese supermarkets here in Vancouver so perhaps I will be making this more often now!

Yong tau foo

Ingredients (makes around 20 pieces):

1 large pepper
1 medium eggplant
300g skinless and boneless white fish, cut into small cubes (mackerel is traditional but you can also use haddock, pollock or other white fish)
1/2 tsp salt mixed with 4 tbsp water
A dash of white pepper
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornflour
Oil for frying
Light soy sauce to taste (optional)
Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Method:

1. Place the fish in a blender and puree into a paste, adding the salt water slowly. Empty out into a bowl and mix in the white pepper, sesame oil and cornflour, until well blended.
2. Cut the pepper in half. Remove the seeds and cut into 8 large pieces (cut each halves into quarters).
3. Wash the eggplant. Cut into 1-inch thick slices on the diagonal. Sprinkle the cut sides with salt and let stand for about 30 minutes, to draw out the bitter juices. Rinse the salt away and pat dry. (You can skip the salting if using the slim Asian varieties.) Cut a horizontal slit into each eggplant slices.
4. Stuff the hollow side of each pepper pieces with the fish paste and set aside. Then carefully stuff the slit in each eggplant slices with the fish paste.
5. Heat a deep pan or wok of vegetable oil until hot. To test for the right temperature, a cube of bread should become golden and float to the top in a few seconds. Or you can stick some bamboo chopsticks or a wooden skewer into the oil. If bubble start to appear from the chopsticks/skewer, the oil is ready. Deep or pan fry the peppers and eggplant slices until the fish paste is cooked. If you use less oil like me, make sure they cover at least halfway up the slices. Turn them halfway through to cook thoroughly. Drain on kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Drizzle some light soy sauce and toasted sesame seeds (optional) over the dish and serve hot.

22 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Oooh, such a succulent dish!

Jags said...

I wish I could get people around here to try tofu, I live in the boondocks and most people around here think its a slimy alien lifeform lol

I think its pretty good when it is cooked right (unlike the tofu at the buffet that was more like an eraser than food)

I sure could have used this recipe last year lol We had an eggplant plant go insane and nobody but me would eat the darn things >.< Zucchini too

skinnymum said...

Yong Tau Foo is my hubby favourite, a must eat for him at least once a week. Not sure about the reason, but I have yet to acquire the taste, even after being married to a yong tau foo freak for 11 years!

Might attempt to make this for his birthday end October. He will be thrilled!

didally said...

I particularly like eggplants and bittergourd when eating my yong tau foo. Bell peppers is a good choice, seldom seen at yong tau foo stores here in Singapore.

noobcook said...

wow you made your own YTH! This is so impressive :) Coincidentally, I am having YTH for dinner tonight, stir fried with spicy black bean sauce, hee

Mrs Ergül said...

Wow! Homemade fish paste and yong tau foo! You rock!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

That eggplant looks enticingly tender and delicious.

Little Corner of Mine said...

I love YTF, you remind me I haven't made it for awhile.

Lizzie said...

Lovely. My grandmother used to make this all the time with tofu puffs and I loved it.

maybelle's mom said...

lovely. I have never had this.

Ling's Passion said...

Your yong tau fu looks delicious.

Venus ~ Vi said...

Hi there~

I order this dish every time when I go to have dim sum. So yummy!

Nilmandra said...

Veggiegirl: Thanks!

Jags: I must admit tofu is an acquired taste for most people who have not grown up with it. But eggplants... they are delicious!

Skinnymum: I adore Yong Tau Foo too. I'm sure he'll be delighted and very touched if you do make it for him :) You can add some chopped up prawns to the fish paste mixture for added 'bite' to the texture.

Didally: You're right, peppers are seldom seen at stalls in Singapore. I can't abide bittergourd though!

Noobcook and Mrs Ergul: No choice lah, cannot buy must make my own :p

Susan: Thanks, they were delicious.

Little Corner of Mine: I've not made it for a long time either. Hmmm can make this soon, now that I can buy ready made fish paste here! :D

Lizzie: I must admit I love the fried tofu puffs best, second only to stuffed aubergine.

Maybelle's mom: Thanks, hope you get to try it some time.

Ling's Passion: Thanks! It was good for my Yong tau foo cravings.

Venus: I order this dish every time I see it on a restaurant menu too!

Bentoist said...

Hi Nilmandra, thanks for dropping by my blog and yes, living abroad has helped me better appreciate our hawkers so much more. Whenever I go back home and one of my friends suggest some western-food place for a gathering, I cringe inside. These days, the hawker center (air-conditioned preferably) is the place for me.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I don't think I've ever had this dish, but it looks yummy. I want to try it. Thanks!

Serene said...

i was just dreaming about Yong Tau Foo!! Since moving to Germany, i've miss comfort food like Yong Tau Foo soup and carrot cake :P

Just one more question, do u have the recipe for that sweet red sauce that comes with this?

Maya said...

A must on Saturdays nights ( those were the nights of Pasar malam in Klang). I have not attempted to make these yet...

Elsye said...

Nilamdra...thanks for the recipe !! It's simple and healthy, I will try it...:D

Nilmandra said...

Bentoist: Haha I know exactly what you mean :)

eatingclub Vancouver: Do give it a try if you see it in a restaurant. I love it!

Serene: Aww that's a long way from home, and I don't know about how easy it is to get ingredients in Germany. I don't have the recipe for the sweet sauce, I'm afraid. I personally prefer to eat this just with a drizzle of soy sauce, or with coated with black bean sauce.

Maya: Ah... memories of Pasar Malam... I crave tea eggs and Taiwanese sausages and sweet corn and...

Elsye: There's a fair but of frying so I'm not sure it's that healthy, and quite a lot of work too. But sure is delicious! :D

Tastes of Home said...

wow your yong tau foo looks so good!! makes me want to make some again and yeah I 'cheat' by buying ready made fish paste :)

Nilmandra said...

Tastes of Home: I must admit, I only made it because I couldn't buy any! Now that I can buy ready made fish paste here in Vancouver, I doubt I'll be making it from scratch again, heh. Unless the ready made ones taste really bad :p

Angela said...

Hello, I just tried this recipe for the first time. It was really good (especially with some Thai chili sauce and chopped green onions on top!). But I am still learning how to fry well. How long do I fry each side? And how do I tell it is done? Thanks!

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