According to Wikipedia, this dish originated in the early 1960s in a restaurant called "Chew Kuan" as "yong tau foo" stuffed with meat paste of fish and pork and that's how this dish earned its name. Yong tau foo means stuffed bean curd. Later, when people become more creative and started to stuff vegetables and even "yau char kwai" (Chinese oil stick) , they will still call the dish "yong tau foo".
My Mum’s yong tau foo and Hakka yong tau foo is different. Hakka "yong tau foo calls" for mince pork and salted fish in the fish paste. My Mum's style of yong tau foo only use fish paste and she prefers to serve it dry with toucheo gravy. You can serve "yong tau foo" in a number of ways. It can be served in a clear consommé soup with or without noodles, with Curry Laksa or with “Choo Cheong Fun” (rice noddle roll).
I love the elastic texture of the fish paste and the toucheo gravy makes is so flavorful. I can eat at least 10 pieces of the "yong tau foo" all by myself. LOL!
½ kg fish paste (pollock fish)
½ cup corn starch
1 ts salt
½ cube chicken stock (mashed - without MSG)
½ ts white pepper
½ yellow capsicum5
½ orange capsicum
5 tofu pok
1 medium ridged gourd
5 red chilly
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small bowl of salt water (used to smoothen the fish paste filling)
1 tb chopped garlic
2 heap tb toucheo (yellow bean sauce)
2 ts sugar
Method for fish paste:
Cut up the fish into ½ inch cubes. Mix above ingredients except salt and chopped for about 2 to 3 minutes. Form the paste into a ball land toss it on the chopping board till you feel the paste is thick and elastic. The finished paste should be smooth with no solid pieces of fish. Put the ball of paste in a bowl and chill in the fridge for about and hour.
Method to prepare the tau foo poks, chillies , capsicums and egg plants:
Clean all the above. For the egg plant, sliced into about ½ inch thick and slit in the middle (for stuffing). For the chillies, discard the seeds and slit in the middle and pat dry with paper towels. For the tau foo poks, poke an opening at the top surface with your finger (for stuffing). For the capsicums, quarter them and discard the seed. Set aside.
Method of stuffing and cooking:
Stuff the fish paste into the green chillies, tau foo poks, capsicums and sliced egg plants using a butter knife. Dip butter knife into the bowl of salt water and then smoothen the fish paste. Pan-fried the yong tau foo lightly with some cooking oil and set aside. Heat up some oil in a wok and stir-fry the chopped garlic until light brown or fragrant. Add the taucheo (yellow bean sauce) and sugar and stir a little. Add water and bring to boil. When the sauce thickens, add the yong tau foo into the wok and stir well. Serve hot.