Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Yeong Tofu

Tofu/taufoo, however you call it or in whatever forms is my favorite staple which needs no introduction but just for reminiscing, i miss the tofu from Malaysia, - the 'sang far', 'sui tofu' and 'tau khon/taukuah'.

To 'yeong' in cantonese which means to stuff, Besides all forms of tofu or soy products, any vegetables can be stuffed. Leafy vegetables like 'kangkong' or 'choy sum' can be blanched and twirled up and then a patch of fish paste is added. Blanched Long Beans made into a small bundle is one of the best. The other popular candidates for stuffing are 'red and green peppers', 'fu chuk', okra, eggplant and all types tofus of course. I personally like to stuff 'shitake mushrooms' and cabbage.

The stuffing filling of just fish paste is the most common but the 'hakka' version of adding ground pork and salted fish is very flavorful especially with 'sang far' tofu. In the absence of 'sang far', the silken tofu is cut into squares and using a melon baller, scoop a hole to hold the filling and then steam or alternatively, cut the tofu into triangles and stuff the fish paste on the pointed side of triangle instead of the straight side which is too tricky.

The paste can be made into balls which are then cooked in simmering water/stock or made into a log/disk and pan-fried.

The stuffed tofus or vegetables are pan-fried or deep-fried and is served as is with chilly sauce for dipping. They can be served with a light thin sauce made with 'mein see/tau cheong' or in soups. i especially like the soup that is made with soya beans. At this stage, they can be kept in the freezer but not for the stuffed white silken tofu. They are the best accompaniment for noodles.

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1-1½ lb Spanish Mackerel fillet - using a spoon, remove the flesh from the skin

1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 egg white
a pinch of msg(optional)

2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt mixed with 4 tbsp water


Put the fish fillet in the food processor and pulse until the fish is finely chopped up. The number of pulses depend on the freshness of the fish meat.
Remove from food processor and put minced fish meat in the cake mixer mixing bowl.
Add in the seasonings A and using the paddle, mix to combine
Add in B and turn on the highest speed to create 'kau' , then the paste will have the good crunchy texture
The paste is ready to 'yeong'/stuff whatever.
For Hakka version -
Add to fish paste
1/2 lb of ground pork with considerable amount of pork fat and make sure that it is not ground too fine. The best would be to chop pork with the cleaver
Salted fish - preferably 'mui heong'
To make soup:
Fish bones and skin(after the flesh has been removed for the fish paste)
A handful of ikan bilis
1 cup of soya beans - wash and soak for 2 hours, drain
3 - 4 slices of ginger
4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying the fish bones and skin
Heat oil and pan fry the fish bones and skin or the ikan bilis until very crispy
Remove and fill a muslin/cheesecloth bag with the fried fish bones and skin/ikan bilis, then put in the pressure cooker together with the soya beans, ginger and water
Close the pressure cooker and cook on high for 1/2 hour
Release pressure and open the lid Remove the muslin/cheesecloth bag
The soup is then ready for the yeong tofu/vegetables/etc
Add salt and pepper to taste.(Might not have to add so much salt as the goodies might be salty enough)



speedoflight said...

Lily, what are the ingredients/direction for your soup (as seen in your photo). Can you post that as well as the alternative "mein see" sauce.


QQ red apple said...

Hi Lily,
MMMMMMmmm..... I miss malaysian yong tau fu-- especialy Ampang Young Tau foo. Wow, you are so great, know to cook, bake, decorated..... so much. Yeah! I give 4 stars to your blog!!!!!!!!

Winnie said...


I love this, thanks for the instructions.

lilyng said...


you are most welcome

i think i still owe you the sambal recipe

lilyng said...


i hope you like the soup base recipe

speedoflight said...

What is the significance of putting soy beans into the soup? Is this pivotal to the taste of the soup? What happens if you do not add it in? I take it that these are regular uncooked soy beans from the store.


lilyng said...


yes, it is the regular uncooked soy beans and the stock made from them is very flavorful and kicks up another knotch. Of course it can be omitted.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Aunty Lily,
Your Yeong Tofu look sooo good! :)

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the recipe again as I am looking through all the food web and couldn't find an easy recipe to make the fish paste. Now, I can use your recipe to make lots of yeong tau foo. Still need to ask you for the Penang laksa noodles recipe please. I can only get the Philipines dry pangsit rice noodles here. I hope can make the "real" laksa noodles, I got the noodles machine with me.

I also managed to plant my taugeh but the roots always grow very long eventhough I already used the weight. Why?


(Already in Qatar)

gail said...

Hi Lily,
I really love your blog. There are so much recipes with the food I love.
I notice you use pressure cooker extensively in your cooking. I never use it and am thinking of getting one.
Although I'm a bit apprehensive since i have heard about the accidents that may occur and it creates loud noise while cooking. Do you mind recommending a pressure cooker that is safe to use?

lilyng said...


i don't make laksa noodles anymore cos these dried noodles available here are so good.

guessed we can't avoid roots in the taugeh otherwise how are they to grow. i find that rinsing them thoroughly will rid of the roots

lilyng said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
lilyng said...


you should not be afraid of the pressure cooker, nowadays, there is new technology that will not allow the lid to open when there is still pressure. please do read the instructions that come with it

you should buy one that is stainless steel then you can almost cook anything in it

Tricia Lee-Chin said...

Hi Lily,

Thanks very much for the recipe. Can't wait to make this for my hubby who is Hakka.

BTW, I am still making your "Lai Wong Har". Everyone loves it. I have people requesting it whenever they come over to my place for dinner.

Thanks a bunch.

l y n n w e i said...

thank u!
i'm so glad i found another page for i can start cooking! hehehe

Elaina said...

I love your blog! My aunt always makes the Hakka style of yeong tofu at special occasions. I'm not sure if it's just our family, but we normally wrap the tofu in a large lettuce leaf and eat it like that with some sweet chili. Delicious!

lilyng said...


that's is very interesting. i should try wrapping with lettuce the next time


Anonymous said...

hey lily,i have a question,how to make fish ball more bounchy n springy?
i made my own fishball and it turn out like fish meat rolled into a ball shaped.

lilyng said...


follow the fish paste recipe and turned them into balls

Anonymous said...

hey lily.can i ask u a question?
how long can a home made sambal olek keep?

Anonymous said...

hey lily,i have tried yr acar recipe recently.My acar turned out a bit tasteless.
can u give me some advice?

lilyng said...


leave the sambal olek in the freezer and it keeps forever

lilyng said...


acar should be sour, salty and sweet enough. if your acar is not sour enough add some vinegar and if you go too far with the vinegar, add some sugar to balance.

Anonymous said...

hey you have the recipe for sambal olek?

lilyng said...


sambal olek is just blended red chillies, vinegar and salt.

Noeline said...

Hi Lily,

I miss Yong Tauhu and I definitely have to cook this one of these days.

By the way, may I know if I may use frozen mackerel fillet for this? Can I also use the head of the fish for the soup if happen to get fresh fish?

Secondly, when you mentioned Mui Heong in your blog, what is the portion of Mui Heong I should add to the minced mackerel?


lilyng said...


yes, you can deep/pan fry the fish head, bones and skin until crispy, then make stock with it - add a few slices ginger too.

the salt fish - mui heong is for taste, do not add too much, it must be overpowering and too salty.

张玉燕 said...

Hi Lily,

I really want to try this recipe since I don't even remember when was the last time I had this dish. Ok, do we blend the fish meat using blender?
These questions are not related to this dish. 1) Where can I buy "Berachan" and "Asam"? I don't think 99 Ranch has it. 2) Have you ever published your own recipe?

It is so cool to find all the dishes I like from you. Thank you so much.

lilyng said...


i use the food processor, but do not process too long as the friction might cook the fish meat.

i am sure there is belacan and Asam jawa(tamarind) in ranch 99.

I am a cook and will cook anything edible with whatever i have on hand and i don't know if it is considered my own recipe.

张玉燕 said...

Of course that is your own recipe. What I meant was if you have published a recipe of your own so I can buy it from Barnes & Noble. It's so hard to find a recipe of Malaysian food like yours. Thank you for your respond.

pikay said...

Thanks for pointing me here. I would have eaten my way trying to find the fish ball recipe ;)

I'm afraid to deal with fishes... would it be ok (taste, texture) if I use frozen boneless Tilapia in place of the Spanish Mackerel?


lilyng said...


yes, you can use tilapia, swai, salmon and trout. Adjust the taste according, the method is the same.

Anonymous said...

Nguyen family, you can search for
shop N bake order direct from them
all moon mold. but you have set up
a pen pal account to order them.
because they would not except visa or master card. I just order thru a friend that knew this vietnamese lady she order fromp shop n bake
you can email me so i can get information so you can contact the lady directly she in Georgia Atlanta.

louise said...

Hi Lily! Been using some of your recipes and looking at your sites for the years I have been in Europe! thank you! I have some frozen tilapia that is quite "fishy" if just pan fried and so want to make mince meat cake (fish & pork) and found your recipe to be perfect. But I do not have salty fish,any replacement you have used?

lilyng said...


if no salted fish, just omit it. to rid of fishiness, add cooking wine and ground pepper, it will help.

chopinandmysaucepan said...

Wonderful recipe Lily. We often have yeong tow foo parties at home too. We like to gently pan sear all the items and then serve it buffet cum steamboat style with a large shallow pot of beautiful chicken stock in the middle of the dining table so everyone can "yeong" which ever piece they desire. Your recipe also makes us appreciate how lucky we are that freshly prepared fish paste is readily available all over Sydney. Winter is almost over here and sadly we have not done a YTF party this year.

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