Sunday, 22 July 2012

Hakka Yong To Fu (Yang Dou Fu)

My hubby's family is of the Hakka dialect (one of the Chinese dialects) - specifically Meixian Kah Yin sect (an even more specific dialect within the Hakka community).

Anyway, following my previous blog post, this is another recipe from my mother-in-law who learned everything she knows in the culinary aspects from scratch.

This is a simplified recipe for Yong To Fu (Yang Dou Fu). I think it can be loosely translated as the Yong's family's tofu? Not sure about the origin of the name!

We are not going to make our own tofu or grow our own brinjals hence I said 'simplified' and not made from scratch.

Pardon my 'choppy' English as I translated this recipe from spoken Chinese (and I never learned formal Chinese in school).

Meat - Pork or Fish
500g of pork with a little bit fat. Add a little bit of salt, no water. Please don't put water. Pork meat will release moisture (water) hence DON'T add water, or else it will be less sticky and defeats the purpose. I think we can call it 'elasticity'.
Fish - BM: Tenggiri (Chinese Han Yu Pin Yin: Jiao Yi) or in English, Mackerel - debone the fish, get the meat, mince the fish. Add salt and water and tapioca starch to blend or pound it (traditional style). If no pound is around, use the roller (for dough) and beat the meat on the chopping board. Fish will be dry hence will dry up and be sticky, so add water. Fish has higher 'elasticity' compared to pork.

Can mix fish and pork paste for greater flavour. If they are combined, no need to mince the pork too much as the fish elasticity will even out the pork elasticity.

What can you stuff with the meat?
Tofu, ladies finger (okra), taufupok, brinjal, are common ones.

square shaped tofu - one square is divided into three triangles - slice it in the middle (to add filling)

Brinjal - slice it in such a way the cut doesn't go all the way through (see illustration in the pix)

ladies finger/okra - slice in the middle, fill up the middle with the meat filling.

chilli (Americans call it hot (red) pepper) - slice in the middle, remove the chilli seeds

Chinese mushroom - soak in water until it becomes soft, put in the whiter place, not the top of the 'umbrella'

Tau fu pok - slice a hole in the middle - fil up the midde with the meat filling.
Fu Chok skin (to fu dried skin)- rendam till soft, fish put in, roll it in, then deep fry.

Deep fry until cooked, it is cooked when the tofu is golden brown.

Chilli & Ladies Finger - Don't deep fry - boil in hot boiling water until it floats up.

Eat while hot with hot sauce (chilli sauce). Or keep in freezer and just bring out and defrost and add to soup (clear soup), vermicelli/ramen/noodle soup, add to stir fried vegetables, it is a versatile side dish!

TIP: Slice the brinjal into layers without fully cutting it through so you may insert the meat filling.

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