It has been a long time since I last made these as it is quite a long process and there is quite a long time needed for preparation. Since my mum is Hakka, her recipe for making Hakka yong tau foo is very delicious as I have made it for friends before and they absolutely loved it. I had strong cravings for this which is why I decided to go through the trouble to make it again.
Firstly, we have to prepare the fillings to stuff the tofu ( beancurd ) and this can be prepared in advance and left in the fridge.
- 1 kg minced pork meat
- 1 kg minced/grinded fish meat
- 2 packets ( about 1kg ) water chestnut – chopped into small minced bits
- 1 bunch of spring onions – chopped
- 3 small red onions – chopped
- 100grams of salted fish – mashed
You will need to pan fried the salted fish until it is cooked before removing the bones and smashing up the meat.
Mix all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl until it is fully mixed up and the ingredients like shallots, salted fish and chestnut is evenly distributed.
Next will be the seasoning of the meat mixture. We need:
- 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons of mushroom seasoning
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 table spoons of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of corn flour
- 2 dash of pepper
We did not include soy sauce or salt in the seasoning because of the salted fish which will flavour the meat and also because we bought ready made fish paste from outside which came pre-seasoned.
Pack the mixed meat paste in ziplock bag for storage if you are preparing this beforehand. I made these 1 day in advance.
On the day of making the yong tau foo, you will need these kind of square beancurd. Do note that for the amount of meat mixture made above, you can make 40 of such squares. As such, we only made 1 bag which is 20 beancurd and left the other bag for another dumpling recipe which I will post soon.
Cut the beancurd into triangle shapes by slicing the squares diagonally
We also bought other items like dried beancurd skin and dried tofu puffs
For a balanced meal, you can also stuff some vegetables like eggplant, lady’s finger or chilli.
For the beancurd, start by scrapping a hole in the middle with a spoon. The hole should be deep enough to put in substantial amount of meat filling.
Fill the hole with meat filling and use a butter knife to press and flatten the meat so it is nicely and firmly stuffed into the beacurd.
For the beancurd puffs, you can slit a hole from the side and stuff the meat filling into the puff to fill it up
For the beancurd skin, you can apply the meat paste in between 2 pieces of skin like a sandwich.
For the eggplant, you can either sandwich the meat between 2 pieces of eggplant or slit an opening on a thick piece and stuff in some meat
For stuffed chilli, you have to hollow up the inside of the chilli and remove the seeds before filling it up with the meat filling.
It took less than an hour to finish 40 triangles, a plate of beancurd skin and puff and some vegetables.
Next to cook the items, you start by pan frying the tofu with the meat face down first on a flat pan with some cooking oil. Pan fry them on low – med heat so that the tofu brown nicely.
Each side will need to be pan fried for approximately 5 mins to make sure they are brown and nice. Time needed can be adjusted according to your heat but we want the meat to be well cooked so the meat should be brown like this. The chilli is also pan fried the same way as the beancurd with meat face down first.
For the beancurd puff, beancurd skin and eggplant, they will have to be deep fried in oil until they turn brown and crispy. Deep fry them on med heat once the oil is heated up to avoid burning them.
All the items are done once they are crispy and brown and there are a few ways to eat the yong tau foo. You can eat this crispy with a sauce which I will share below.
To make the sauce, you need:
- 200 grams minced meat
- 250 grams of chilli soybean paste
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cooking wine
- 2 teaspoon of mushroom seasoning
- 2 tablespoon of corn flour to make starch water
The soy bean paste I recommend is the one below:
Start by frying the minced meat in 2 tablespoon of oil. Add the cooking wine and bean paste and stir fry till fragrant. Add about 300 ml of water and bring to a boil. Add the sugar and mushroom seasoning. You can now taste the sauce and adjust to your preference. Once the sauce is boiling, add the starch water a little at a time while stirring the sauce to thicken it.
You can either drizzle the sauce on the cooked items and eat it like a sort of dipping sauce. For the traditional Hakka, they like to sort of braised the items in the sauce for 5 mins to like the ingredients absorb the flavour of the sauce so when the sauce is boiling and thickened, add the cooked items and cover with a lid to cook for 5 mins.
This is the completed Hakka Yong Tau Foo with the sauce and you can sprinkle with fresh spring onions as a garnish. You can choose to eat this with rice as the bean paste will go well with rice or also with thick rice vermicelli which I tried at some stores outside.
To cook the rice vermicelli sauce, I merely cooked some minced meat in store bought packet chicken stock and added starch water to thicken it into a sauce and add it to blanched thick rice vermicelli. I like to eat it with rice vermicelli as it is light and not as filling and I can enjoy the beancurd as many as I want without bursting my tummy.
This is a dish that is liked by both young and old so you can try it out and making the beancurd is also an activity that is easy enough for bonding with children.
Super Bonus: Wondering what to do with all those beancurd we dug out from the triangles? Here’s a post for a recipe on what to do with such leftover beancurd by turning it into another delicious dish.