Monday, May 10, 2010

Yong Tau Foo/Stuffed Vegetables

Yong tau foo (酿豆腐) is one of my favorite foods from back home. It is a popular dish in Singapore and Malaysia and literally translates as 'stuffed tofu’ with fish paste. Soy products like tofu, deep fried tofu puffs and bean curd sheets are often used and vegetables like okra, bitter melon, chilies, sweet peppers and eggplant are common choices too. These stuffed tofu and vegetable pieces are pan fried and usually serves in clear broth or simmers in bean paste sauce.

I don’t make this dish often because it is labor intensive. Whenever I make this, I will make a bit more so I can freezer some of it. . During our Malaysian ladies monthly gathering we decided to make some since there are a few of us to help out. We are able to buy ready made fish paste here so it makes life so much easier for us. All we have to do is add some ground meat, spring onions and some seasonings into it and the paste is done. Here are some of the pictures I took to share it with you.

Ingredients for fish paste:

1 pound fish paste
½ pound ground pork or chicken
3 spring onions – cut small
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
Salt to taste

For Stuffing:

4 pieces of tofu
1 big piece of beancurd skin
1 packet of tofu puffs
10 ladies fingers
1 eggplant
1 bitter melon
10 sweet peppers
6 red or green chilies


2 tbsp of fermented bean paste
2 tbsp oyster sauce
3 cloves garlic – chopped
2 ½ - 3 cups of water or chicken stock
1 tsp of cornstarch + 3 tbsp of water
sugar to taste

1. In a mixing bowl, mix all the fish paste ingredients together and mix well and set it aside.
2. Prepare ingredients for stuffing. Wash all the vegetables. Trimmed okras and make a slit in the center. Slice eggplant, sliced the bitter melon into rings and discard the seeds. Stuff it with the paste.

3. For the chilies and sweet peppers, trimmed the steams, make a slit and try to discard as much seeds as possible. Stuff it with the paste.

4. Cut the tofu into triangles, make a slit in the center, wash and squeeze out all the water from the tofu puffs and cut into two, cut the bean curd skin into 4” x 5” pieces. Stuff it with the paste.

5. Heat up some oil in a frying pan, pan fried and sears all the stuff vegetables and tofu’s until lightly browned. Remove and set it aside. (at this stage you can freeze some of it for further use)
6. In the same frying pan, remove most of the oil and leave about 2 tbsp in it. Stir fry the chopped garlic until fragrant and lightly brown. Add in the black bean paste. Stir fry until fragrant and add in the chicken stock.
7. Add in the oyster sauce and bring it up to boil. Add in all the seared ingredients. Bring up to boil and simmer for a few minutes. Add in some sugar to taste. Taste it first as you might need to add some salt to it. Add in the cornstarch and cook until sauce thickens. Remove and serve warm.
Note: I didn't add any salt to this dish since the bead paste and oyster sauce give this dish enough of saltiness.


Angie's Recipes said...

Never had stuffed okra!! Love the idea!

Quinn said...

For the tofu puffs, if you turn it inside out and fill it only deep fry it, it gives you the most amazing crisp ever, very good even when eaten just by itself!

Girl Foodie said...

This looks absolutely delicious.
I'm sorry for being a bit ignorant, but is the "fish paste" the same smelly stuff I buy in a jar for use in Thai cooking. Very thick, salty and smells like extra strong fish sauce?
I'd love to give this a try but don't want to use the wrong thing!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

OMG...this is so good! I love the idea of doing it yourself. I wonder if I will since it's easily available here in S'pore. :P But as the saying goes, never beats home made!

Shereen said...

Yay!!!!Finally got this recipe.You forgot to add extra pairs of helping hand in the ingredients....hahahaha.Shall I wait for you to prepare this for us?So malas to do it myself after seeing the panjang berjela punya preparation.

ICook4Fun said...

Angie, I love okra too :)

Quinn, yea I sometime will do that with the tofu puffs but I find it will use too much stuffing :)

Girl Foodies, no it is not fish sauce that comes in a bottle. This is fish paste or fish mousse. If you can't find it just use some white fish fillet and blend in a blender.

Bee, in Singapore and Malaysia you can buy if from the market and save you the trouble of making it from scratch. But I think homemade are better :)

Sonia ~ Nasi Lemak Lover said...

wor wor, this look so delicious, can I come over your place to have some, hehehe!! Since the market near my place supply this daily, so i have yet to get my hands on making this.

ReeseKitchen said...

I love yong-tau-foo...yours just make me even more hungry now. (haven't take dinner & its already 1030pm)..:(
Miss my mother's hakka yong-tau-foo. Guess I'll have to try making this one day..:)

ann low said...

I really love this and eat it everyday...very yummy and healthy.

CathJ said...

Lovely....!! Thank you.. ^_^

Pete said...

Wah, homemade yong taufu. Haven't tried to make before! They llok fresh and delicious!

WendyinKK said...

I could never stuff an okra, the fillings don't want to stay put.

Lucy said...

I helped my boyfriend's mom make this dish once! It was really fun and she made everything from scratch, even the fish paste. I can't really remember the type of fish though. Any recommendations?

Your dish looks smashing! I want some!

ICook4Fun said...

Shereen, you are funny ha ha... yea this is a lot of work. Maybe we can do this together when I am there :)

Sonia, you are alwways welcome to my house for breakfast, lunch or dinner :)

Reese, you must be busy baking choc cake until you forget about your dinner?

Anncoo, me too.

Cath, thanks

Pete, thank you.

Wendy, yea okra is a bit difficult to stuff but my friend Michelle did a great job with it :)

ICook4Fun said...

Lucy, the fish to use is 'Kau yee' or ikan tenggiri in Malay.

coffeesncookies said...

wow, your stuffings to the brim.. a lot of meat. I love this dish too and I add some salted fish to the paste. Will cook a lot,like you but i use only tau fook pok coz they are easy to store and handle.

indahhouse said...

Hi Sis Gert,
It looks soo yummy! senang ada ready fish paste,kan? wah, macam2 jenis bole buat....

Noob Cook said...

wow tedious but definitely looks better than the store bought ones.

tigerfish said...

I agree it is labor-intensive and for small families like just me and other half, I hardly can make this because of the ingredients we need all at once - bittergourd, okra, tofu, chili...etc etc unless like what you suggested, make then freeze them or make when there is a gathering with more people.

Cheah said...

Yes, indeed this is a labour intensive dish, but delicious and yummy!

Elin Chia said... many varieties...Gert pass some over thru the Window :p Homemade are much better than bought ones :)

Jeannie said...

Yum! I like yong taufu too but too tedious to make. Usually eat out since there are so many good yong taufu stalls around.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Yummy! I miss eating yong taufu!

ICook4Fun said...

Coffeencookies, the next time we make this maybe I will add some salted fish to it. Thanks for the tip.

Indahhouse, kat Malaysia sekarang pun boleh dapat fish paste kan. So senang lah nak buat YTF :)

Noobcook, definitely better homemade.

Tigerfish, I always make more so I can freezed it. You can do the same too.

Cheah, yes it is.

Elin, ha ha you can come over for lunch :)

Jeannie, yea you can get this dish easily in Malaysia and Singapore.

LCOM, make some :)

FC88 said...

I think you must be a very person patient person. I love these fried food, but it just pains me to stand there stuff and fry them. I think I only do it every few years!

mycookinghut said...

How I wish I was your neighbour... you know what I mean...

Pei-Lin said...

Oh, I love yong tow foo! Hmmm ... Can I have some now?

Did you make the fish paste from scratch?

Tuty @ScentofSpice said...

What an amazing variety you have :)
I just made something with fish paste too.

ICook4Fun said...

FC88, I have friends to help me with this. We made a large amount to share among the few of us.

Leemei, yea wish we can be neighbor.

Pei-Lin, no I just used the ready made ones.

Tuty, looking forward to see your version at your blog :)