Saturday, May 30, 2009
Hakka Yong Tofu
This is a special dish made in my home on Chinese New Year Eve, by my Hakka father. It was a ritual to him and he used to stop work and make it for us, since my mother was Teochew and did not quite know how to cook the way he wanted. I quite suspected that she knew how but feigned ignorance so that she could take the day off. We spoke Teochew at home and he, being the 'minority' , would remind us of his ' overruled 'dialect with this dish for more than 30 years.
Father used salted fish to jazz up the meat paste but abandoned it totally when we became health conscious.
1 Cup Soy beans, soaked overnight
Pork ribs or fish bones ( leftover from making fish paste ) all bagged up
200g minced pork
300g fish paste
1 handful water chestnut, chopped coarsely
1 pinch salt
"sealant " :
Dry corn starch for sealing meat to base
The following vegetable bases are hollowed out for stuffing the meat paste :
Bean puff ( tau pok )
Bitter gourd, seeds removed, retaining white fluffy pith
Fat red chillies, deseeded
Whatever that grips your imagination
Prepare soy bean stock by boiling soy beans, ikan bilis for at least 4 hours
Carefully stuff paste to tofu/bitter gourds/chilli
Pat corn starch onto meat paste and surrounding base of vegetables/tofu . Shake off excess flour.
Heat wok with very hot oil, 1/2 inch deep, and fry stuffed vegetables ( dusted surface on oil ) until meat is browned, sealed to vegetable base. ( When my weighing scales indicator goes into the red zone, I skip the flouring and steam it direct )
Transfer yong tofu to stock and bring to a boil before serving. Garnish with parsley and scallions if so wish. We eat this with rice but there's no stopping you to have it with noodles, hawker center style. We didn't dip the yong tofu in red bean paste then but to move with the times, anything goes from here. Enjoy!