Hakka Yong Tofu - Stuffed Tau Kwa

Friday, February 24, 2017

It should be obvious that the most important piece in Hakka Yong Tofu is the Stuffed Tofu, from which the dish is named.

One challenge with making this is Singapore is that it is difficult to find a kind of tofu which is easily available in KL. The KL version - called 'soi tofu" in Cantonese - has the right texture: silky smooth and taste divine when served stuffed, after a brief pan fry, in soup or sauce. And yet, it is firm enough to hold the stuffing. The local varieties here are either too hard or too soft (thus, it cannot hold the stuffing).

But if you can lay hand on very fresh Tau Kwa which is made to have a softer texture, you can replicate the KL version. This was what I was happy to discover recently when I manage to use some very fresh Tau Kwa. It was imply delicious.

Read this post on how to make the stuffing and for fuller instructions. We used a 1:1 fish-pork ratio, using Batang fish (Spanish Mackeral) and minced pork with some fats in it.

Slice the tau kwa into two tri-angle shaped pieces. Scoop a bit of the center and fill in with the stuffing using a spoon. Smoothen it with a corn flour slurry.

Stuffing the Tau Kwa (Photo credit: Joyce Ho)
Make a fish stock from the fish bones and heads. Wash them first and deep fry briefly to remove the fishy taste. Then heat up some water, add salt to taste and add the fish parts. After about 30 minutes, the stock should be done. Strain. Using the stock, gently cook the stuffed Tau Kwa for about 10 minutes. Be gentle with the handling as the tau kwa can break. Alternatively, you can also steam the stuffed Tau Kwa, which will be my preferred way of cooking this.

Add oyster sauce to the stock and corn flour slurry to create a sauce. The stuffed Tau Kwa is best served immediately after it is cooked or steamed as it is best eaten hot.

You need to serve it with chilli sauce and "tim cheong" (recipe here), garnished with diced spring onions.

Now the challenge is - where can you get very fresh Tau Kwa? Supermarts are out. Try wet market stalls.

Hakka YTF served with Chee Cheong Fun

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  1. This is on my hit list. I have seen it enough on FB. The trouble is I am finding it hard to keep up with the to-cook-list/to-make-list. The list is growing by the day.

    p/s I cooked a chai boey for the first time yesterday. I followed your recipe but I didn't fry my meat. There were lots of dry chillies etc. I will get more lemon grass on my next round. It was scrumptious. It is a keeper. Thank you so much for the recipe. I wished I could follow Aunty's recipe with Torch Flower, laksa leaves and decent balachan.