Monday, December 10, 2007

Fuichiu Hakka yong towfoo

1kg small to medium-sized ikan tenggiri (mackerel)
500g minced belly pork (optional)
1 Tbsp salted fish (mui heong, tenggiri variety, slightly fried and chopped)
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1.5 tsps salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1 rice bowl salt water (with 1 tsp salt)
4 soft white beancurd (cut into half and slit in the centre)
5 pieces of towfoo pok (beancurd puffs) cut into two
1 long brinjal (cut into 2cm lengths)
1 bitter gourd (cut into 2cm lengths, with pulp and seeds removed)
3 red chillies (slit one side, take out the seeds)
1 cup finely chopped bayam (spinach)
1 Tbsp chopped spring onion
1 Tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp taucheo (fermented beanpaste, optional)
1 Tbsp oyster sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
Oil for frying
1.5 tsp cornflour (mixed with 2 Tbsps water)

Fish Soup:
Fish bones, skin and head
4 cm ginger (sliced)
1.5 litres boiling water
Dash of white pepper
1 tsp salt
Oil for frying

1. Debone the fish, scrape the flesh from the skin. Set aside the bones, skin and head for making soup.

2. With a chopper, chop the fish meat for five minutes on a wooden chopping board or until the meat becomes a paste. Add salt, pepper, chopped shallots, five-spice powder, chopped salted fish (optional), sugar and a little water. Mix well and continue chopping for two minutes.

3. Wet hands with the salt water, Using both hands, knead the fish paste, lifting it up and throwing it a few times on the chopping board until the paste is smooth and bouncy (it should look clear and like jelly). Add minced pork (optional), mix well and continue to knead and throw for five minutes, wetting your hands a few times with the salt water during the process.

4. Take out one-third of the paste and add the chopped bayam. Mix well and stuff the bittergourd and towfoo pok with it.

5. Stuff the beancurd, brinjal and chillies with the fish and meat paste.

6. Heat a non-stick frying pan with some oil, panfry the stuffed beancurd, brinjal, chillies, towfoo pok and bitter gourd in batches. Make sure the stuffed side is down. Remove from pan when the stuffing turns golden brown.

7. Pour half the fish soup into a deep pan, add the stuffed items except for the bittergourd (do this separately in another portion of soup), boil them for 10 minutes. Dish out. Add taucheo, oyster sauce (both optional), soya sauce and sugar (optional) in the soup, continue to boil for another 5 minutes.

8. Thicken with cornstarch solution, pour the sauce over the stuffed items and sprinkle chopped spring onions. The Yong Towfoo is ready to be served!

Fish Soup:

1. Fry the fish bones, skin and head in a pot (or wok) with a little oil until slightly brown. Add the ginger slices, pepper and salt, stir fry for 2 minutes and add the boiling water. Boil for 15 minutes.

2. Filter the soup into a pot.


1. You can replace minced pork with 300g finely chopped water chestnuts.

2. You can also deep-fry the stuffed items, then boil in the soup for five minutes.

3. You can also stuff beancurd sheets, capsicums and other vegetables.

4. You can add some beancurd, tomatoes, preserved salted vegetable and some meat to the remainder soup, boil it for 10 minutes for a delicious soup.

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