Mrs. Chan

yong tau foo 釀豆腐

In Hakka Dishes on February 26, 2011 at 5:47 am

When was the last time you had a joyous Yong Tau Foo meal?

I am sick of all the half passed six Yong Tau Foo (YTF) being served on our plates daily.

If you noticed, the plastic-liked ones, full of cornstarch or synthetic food additives to make a Q-Q bite. I mean they can get away today because the younger generations don’t quite get to taste what we tasted decades back.

Back then, there weren’t wholesalers out there mass producing to serve the pasar malam vendors; wet market food sellers; etc. Every independent store owner were proud cooks and operators. Unlike the absentee ones today replaced by foreign worker cooks.

I remember way back when I was 8 or 9 years old. Fine, that makes it some 40 years back.

My best YTF came from a Hakka village in Salak South where I grew up. The old lady fondly addressed as “Pak Meh” used kurau salted fish, pork and fish paste to laced all the tofus and vegetables. I can remember the aroma and the sizzling sound of delicious meat patties against the brinjals and bittergourds. Heavenly smells and flavoursome bites.

Today, I don’t have to search very far. Momsie’s the answer.

I did not pre-inform her my intention to do YTF, therefore ingredients are not suffice. Fret not, mom is a queen of improvising ingredients and we all should learn too.

A little experiment here and there.


200 gm     pork

100 gm     fish fillet

2/3 pcs     chinese mushrooms

10 pcs       fried tofu or taukua

2 pulps     garlic

1 stalk      spring onion

1 inch      red carrot

1 tsp         salt

1 tsp         cornflour

salt and pepper and a dash of soya sauce

For convenience, you may buy the already pre-minced pork however, momsie’s advise is to choose pork belly that is generously striped with lean and fats. Fresh pork belly meat gives better flavour and bite. Slice thinly , you can easily mince them with a chinese cleaver knife on a thick chopping board.

When the meat is moderately mince, add in garlic, carrots and fish. Notice here that we use prawns to substitute the lack of fish. Mince further.

Move the mince ingredients into a deep bowl. Add in crushed salted fish, finely chopped scallion, salt, pepper and cornflour. Again, we have substituted crushed chopped anchovies/ikan billis for the salted fish. Use hands to fold in all ingredients to the mince meat heartily onto the bowl. When you feel the meat paste sticky and do not fall apart, they are ready.

Momsie is concerned about the quality of tofu that we are using. She could not buy from her regular vendor and we made do with these ugly and crinkled ones from the nearest mini market in Tanjong Minyak. Looks can be deceiving. Fret not.

Old wives advice to get the meat paste well onto tofu would be to dust the holes to be filled with cornflour. Momsie’s tip is to steam the stuffed tofu first.

All the tofu are stuffed and we have some meat paste left. So momsie’s decided to stuff some lady’s fingers from her garden. You can look out for whatever that is available in your kitchen or fridge; chillies, brinjals, bittergourds, mushrooms etc.

Walaw ……. freeze and eat them anyway, anytime in the future!!

  1. My mum always tiok her own fish for YTF, she also used kurau, damn lot of work one to debone the fish.

    She also do a salted fish + fish meat + fatty pork + taufu + spring onion all stir fry together called taufu “song” (loose taufu) – my favorite dish to wallop a bowl of rice with.

    • Momsie is very “apa bun boleh” type.

      She improvises. No such thing as unable to dish out a meal because there is one ingredient short.

      We did not have fish fillet and she replaced with prawns.
      We did not have salted fish and she replaced with crushed fried anchovies/ikan bilis.

      i actually am going to attempt deboning a mackerel some time. The last i did it was, some 20 years back.

      Taufu “soong” you must try at my brother-in-law’s resto at Pantai Kundur, Melaka ….. best in the world!!!

  2. yum.. wish you knew how to make this when you were here!

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