Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hakka Yong Taufoo With Tauchu Sauce

When I am not lazy and am in the mood to whip up something more elaborate , dinner would be something like this.  Hakka Yong Tau Foo is our all time favourite dish and WB loves homemade ones. The traditionally Hakka Yong Tau Foo stuffing is made with fish paste, minced pork and salted fish but I replaced salted fish with dried shrimps and added some chopped spring onions and red chillies for color.

To make things easier, I bought the ready made fish paste from my fishmonger .  The fish paste has dried cuttlefish in it which made it the perfect ingredient to be added to the minced pork for making the filling for the Yong Tau Foo. The secret to having a springy texture filling is to stir the filling ingredients in one direction  with a pair of chopsticks till the  mixture becomes sticky and heavy .  It involves at bit of work, preparing the filling and cutting the vegetables for stuffing takes a bit of time too.  But the end result, is a plate of delicious homecooked Hakka Yong Tau Foo!  I made Tauchu sauce for the Yong Tau Foo , for extra oomph I added some fermented black beans when cooking the tauchu sauce , Guess what, we had a hearty dinner with just this one dish. I asked WB to cook extra rice oh, yes ,he does the cooking of rice while I cooked the dishes. Fair and square ! p

 this filling is a keeper...and
the secret to a springy texture is to stir the mixture with a pair of chopsticks
in one direction till sticky and heavy

love the assorted vegetables and tofu puff and the fillings is ready for stuffing :)

 the Yong Tau Foo is ready to be pan-seared and cooked

I am proud of my handiwork...the yong tau foo looks great :)


Hakka Yong Tau Foo With Tauchu Sauce

ingredients for filling:

500 gms minced pork ( less fat )
250 gms fish paste ( with dried cuttlefish ) - get from the fishmonger
60 gms dried shrimps - soaked and coarsely chopped
2 pieces of fresh shiitake mushrooms - diced into small pieces
some chopped spring onions
some chopped red chillies
a dash of white pepper
a drop of fish oil or sesame oil
1 heaped tablespoon of corn flour

Put all the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and using a spoon, mix well.  Use a pair of chopsticks and stir continously in one direction till the mixture is sticky and slightly heavy for a springy texture.  Leave aside.

Veggies for stuffing :
4 pieces square semi-firm tofu, drain well, half diagonally, make a small slit on the cut side
6 pieces tau foo pok (deep fried tofu balls), half diagonally, make a small slit on the cut side
6 pieces of fresh shiitake mushrooms - removed stem, wash and drain dry
4 red chillies- make a slit and deseed
1 small bitter melon - remove seed and slice at an angle
1 small eggplant - slice horizontally - 1/4 inch thick - cut a slit in the center for stuffing.

 Prepare the stuffed items:
Use a small butter knife to stuff the tofu , fresh shiitake mushrooms, tofu puff and vegetables of your choice. The amount of paste to use varies, generally chilies  and bitter melon and eggplant use up more filling. Clean up the edges and smooth out the meat paste with some salted water. Avoid overstuffing the tofu and vegetables as they may tear/break during frying. Lay out all the stuffed items on a platter/tray to prepare for frying.

In a large wok or a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat up oil over medium heat and fry the stuffed items by batches, starting with the vegetables and ending with the fresh shiitake mushrooms and fresh tofu. Lay the stuffing side down to cook the meat paste, then flip over and around to cook the vegetable/tofu, about 4-5 minutes each side.  
Tips: Ensure oil is hot enough for deep frying to avoid oil-clogged results. The tau foo puff is already cooked and will take the shortest time to cook Avoid frying the chillies and tofu puff for too long a time, they will shrink and separate from the filling. Tofu is fried last due to the loisture and eggplants tke the longest to cook.

Tauchu Sauce
3 tbsp of fermented soybean (tauchu in chinese )
2 tsp of preserved black beans ( tau si in chinese)
chopped chilli
3 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 tbsp of rice bran oil

1.5 cup of water
a pinch of sugar

1 tbsp of corn flour
3 tbsp of water

Saute the tauchu sauce ingredients with 1 tbsp of rice bran oil till fragrant.  Add in water and pinch of sugar for 6 mins , add in the fried yong tau foo and simmer for another few minutes , add in thickening sauce.  Once the sauce has thicken.  Dish out and serve hot with rice.


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