Yong Tau Foo, which means stuffed tofu/bean curd, is a Chinese soup dish. It started as tofu stuffed with fish and pork, but nowadays, it includes other vegetables such as ladyfingers (okra), bean curd puffs, chillies, bittergourd, brinjal (eggplant) etc. The most famous place for Yong Tau Foo in KL is in Ampang. I remember as a kid, my parents used to bring us there for lunches on Sundays and the place was always packed full. In order to grab a table, you need to strategically place family members/friends around the restaurant so that you grab the first available table before someone else does. Every table was covered in a plastic cover and when the table is done, someone comes and just wraps up the plastic sheet with the cutlery, bowls and plates etc in it and replaces it with a new sheet. That was your cue to leave.
This dish is most commonly served with a clear broth/soup, either with stuffed veges in it or with the soup in a separate bowl. I was never a fan of fish, and the only fish dish my mum could get me to eat was fish balls or yong tau foo. She’d often make her own fish paste and stuff different vege with it. Since I’m not a fan of fish, I was quite hesitant to attempt to make my own fish paste. Remembering my first attempt to be a failure, I did a little more research this round. The fish paste was a success and I had fun stuffing various vege with it. Due to time constraint, I couldn’t boil a soup base to accompany it, hence decided on my mum’s bean curd sauce base. To my surprise, no one in my house had ever had yong tau foo like this. According to Krys’s mum, it’s a cantonese style, guess that explains why I grew up eating it that way cause my mum is a cantonese.
- Firm tofu/bean curd
- Bean curd puffs
- Fresh chillies
- Fish paste
- Ikan bilis/anchovies
- Soy beans
- Salt and pepper
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Add ikan bilis (anchovies), soy beans, salt and pepper. Allow soup to simmer over low heat.
- Cut tofu into squares, slit red chillies and the ladyfingers (okra) down the middle and remove the seeds, cut bean curd puffs into halves and remove the interior “cottony” part.
- Bring a wok with water to boil.
- Stuff the vege with fish paste and place on steamer. Steam over rapidly boiling water till fish paste is cook.
- Remove from steamer. Heat a frying pan with oil.
- Pan fry the stuffed vege till lightly brown, then set aside.
- To serve: Place stuffed vege in a bowl and pour soup over it; or serve with the soup in a separate bowl.
- If you want to serve it my mum’s way, just mince some garlic. Heat a pan with oil, fry garlic till fragrant and add bean curd paste, water and corn flour mixture and simmer till thicken. Add in the rest of the vege and mix well. Dish up and serve.
- If you want the soup to be sweeter, add other vege such as carrots, onions, sweet corn, tomatoes.