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Yong Tow Foo/Yong Tau Fu Recipe


Recipe: Yong Tow Foo/Yong Tau Fu (Stuffed Tofu, Chili, Okra with Fish Paste)

1 Cha Ca Fish Meat Emulsion
6 red chilies (deseeded)
6 okras / ladies fingers
10-12 fried tofu puffs

For fish paste seasoning:

1 stalk scallion (chopped)
1 red chili (deseeded and chopped)
3 heavy dashes of white pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon of taucheo (fermented yellow bean sauce)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 cup of water plus 1 teaspoon of corn starch (stir well)

  • Clean the okras and red chilies with water and slit in the middle (for stuffing). Discard the seeds of the red chilies, pat dry with paper towels. For the fried tofu puffs, poke an opening at the top surface with your finger (for stuffing). Set aside.
  • Add white pepper powder, sesame oil, chopped scallion and red chili into the fish emulsion and mix well.
  • Stuff the fish paste into the red chilies, okras, and fried tofu puffs using a butter knife. Fill the inside of the red chilies, okras, and tofu puffs but make sure that you do not over-stuff them.
  • Place the stuffed ingredients on a plate and steam for 5 minutes.
  • Pan-fried the steamed Yong Tow Foo lightly with some cooking oil. Dish up.
  • 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 do a quick stir. Add water and sugar. As soon as the sauce thickens, add the Yong Tow Foo into the wok and stir well. Serve hot.
  • Cook’s Notes:
  • For the above serving, you need only half of the fish paste.
  • The above fish paste is my personal favorite but you can substitute it with another brand.
  • A good fish paste should be light grey in color (like the color of fresh fish meat). If the fish meat emulsion turns light brown or darker grey, it means the product has been frozen for a long time.
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    42 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

    1. Rasa Malaysia

      Alamak Melting Wok, you color blind liao? Too much “wok hei” from your melting wok? LOL. It’s brown sauce lah!

    2. Melting Wok

      I was paying attention to the white plate after I finish licking all the sauce, and I accidentally said white sauce hahahaa, you see how tempting that is :P

    3. UnkaLeong

      Lau nuar…And i was just telling a friend of mine, we should do some Yong Tau Foo when I get back. You read my mind!

    4. simcooks

      Don’t like that lei… this is second time you put teaser pictures then make us drool and wait for the recipe. *waiting waiting*

    5. cheese with a spoon

      Hello Rasa Malaysia,

      I’ve been reading your blog for a while but never commented — always been very impressed, though! You do a wonderful job here. All my favourite recipes! I’m from Malaysia too and I can see that we share pretty much the same taste in food — seafood and soy products are my two big favourites, too! And hot and sour flavours like assam pedas.

      The Yong Tau Foo looks lovely — can’t wait for the recipe. Is this Penang-style YTF? I’m from Ipoh and there the dish is usually served without sauce in a light, clear broth…. And yup, I always go for the chili, the okra, and the tofu! (And also the bitter gourd, mmmm….)

    6. Keropok Man

      oooo…. more recipes for your restaurant :-)

      just look at the stuffed chilli. makes me hungry. aiyo, it’s nearly midnite where I am, how to go find food like this???

    7. tigerfish

      is that taucheo sauce ? How I wish that little drop of sauce beside the stuffed red chilli is what came out from my mouth while biting on the yong tow foo…the “juice” just oozes out….too “juicy” nice leow! You make this Yong Tow Foo and sell won’t make money lah…stuffing so much…lugi leow…..
      But then, you can stuff it full and charge a premium …heh heh…;p
      quick quick post leh…
      lucky i read this in morning…if not, pillow also wet ah…

    8. Rasa Malaysia

      Melting Wok – too jilatable I reckon.

      Claude – thank you. :)

      Michael – fried siu mai? Hmm, I haven’t had those.

      Tonixe – You can do backstreet Ampang Yong Tow Foo. :P

      Simcooks – OK, recipe is there…make sure you memorize it and I shall give you a quiz tomorrow!

      Cheese with a spoon – I answered your question in the post. Thanks for your first comment!

      KM – Did you manage to find any midnight yong tow foo in Singapore? ;)

      Tiga – yes, taucheo sauce. I love that sauce.

    9. fraggle_freak

      Hi there Rasa Malaysia (Can i call u RM for short?)

      Just started to read your culinary blog a few days ago. Have to say I am very impressed with your entries. It’s everything: the wonderful pictures, excellent recipe and even the lay out is brilliant.

      Anyway, can’t help this time to chip in some comments :) BTW, just wondering if u can make the meat fish emulsion from scratche. I don’t think i can found any ready made fish paste here in KL (Err, if any KL-ians could find the fish paste anywhere at the local stores, please let me know). I’m a hantu yong tau foo and it would be brill if I can show off to my family that I can make it from scratch!

    10. sue

      Phew, I finally got the chance to leave a comment on your blog. (The Internet is very weird today, I couldn’t access any blogs that are based on blogspot system this morning.)

      RM, could you tell me how to fry crispy tofu like yours? I made a tofu dish yesterday but it wasn’t crispy at all.

    11. simcooks

      *memorizing recipe now*

      BTW, were the okras slimy? I know of okras to be slimy when cooked. How did this one go?
      I wanted to buy okras for a fish curry (from a premix, not your sophisticated Assam Pedas), but only needed to use a couple. The rest I can now make this Yong Tow Foo, but I am still wary of okras – my first time cooking this, so need your advice. :)

    12. Rasa Malaysia

      Fraggle Freak – thanks so much for your kind words and yes, you can call me RM. :)

      I haven’t attempted to make the fish paste from scratch, but check this out. This might help you.

      Hey Sue – yes, I ran into the same problem earlier today. Those fried tofu puffs are ready made so I didn’t fry them. ;)

      In regards to frying crispy tofus, here are what I usually do: 1) make sure you use paper towels to dry the tofu before frying, 2) If you use a wok, heat up enough oil to cover at least 70% of the tofu pieces and make sure that the oil is very very hot before you start frying, 3) or you can use a deep fryer. ;)

      Simcooks – actually the reason why I love okras is because of the slimy texture. My cousins and I used to call them “nua nua cai” (slimy vegetables in Hokkien when we were kids!) This one is not too slimy, just a tint of it and very tender and nice, plus you steam them and then lightly pan-fried so they won’t get overly slimy. You will like them.

      Budding Cook – Cha Ca is good. You should make. :)

    13. fatboybakes

      haiya, i actually had to look up google map to see where was irvine..i thought it was some remote town in the interior of california, if there’s such a thing, but turns out you’re next to anaheim sum more!!!

      HAHAHA, no wonder got easy access to all this asian stuff. you’re so lucky to get that cha ca fish paste. fish paste here is so unpredictable, can have textures ranging from johnson baby powder to dunlop tyres.

      sounds like a certain uncle from BKK intends to visit you soon hor!!

      yummy looking post as usual.

    14. fatboybakes

      oh, fraggle freak, of course you can buy fish paste in any supermarket or wet market in KL!!! consistency in quality is an issue.

      my great grandmother and grandmother used to use ikan parang, scrape off the meat of the flesh, and using a chopper/cleaver, proceed to chop chop chop, add a bit of flour here and there, just a bit, to bind, chop chop chop until it forms a paste.

    15. lucia

      OMG! i am drooling! i love yong tau foo … and it is filled with fish paste… prefer that than some other meat like beef!!

      oh btw, this reminds me of our hakka traditional yong tau foo it is a must for chinese new year.

    16. Tummythoz

      One of my fav dish to go with steamed white rice. Mom used to just stir fry those stuffed vege with generous helpings of garlic, bird-eye chillies and taucheo. Yummy.

      Agree with what fatboybakes said. Fish paste is easily available at KL big or small wet markets, usually a handful amount packed in plastic bags.

    17. Ben and Suanne

      Yong Tow Foo is another food that I missed a lot. Will try this out with the store bought fish paste. My late-mom used to make excellent fish paste and yong tow foo. Too bad, I did not learn the skill from her. Anyway, I dont think I can find fresh `gow yue` here in North America.

    18. tigerfish

      I just happened to see this after your Yong Tau Foo post …”lost 40lbs in 2 months”….
      how can that be?!? when there’re so much delicious food from you ?;p

    19. linnish

      Lovely! I also make my yong tau foo this way, using fish paste and pan fry them before making the soup. Well in your case, it’s the sauce. Drooling when I see your food pics!

    20. Rasa Malaysia

      FBB – Aiya, you think I live in an ulu place? :( Yes, Disneyland is 10 minutes away, the world famous Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach are close by, plus Chinatown, Koreantown, Little Saigon, Little India, etc….so there. ;)

      About fish paste, I have never seen them in the wet market in Penang, will have to look for them when I go home during CNY.

      Lucia – I agree…those stuffed with meat one are very geli lah, dark red color, so very tak lalu.

      Tiga – LOL! That ad keep showing up on my site, I don’t know why. I think Google Adsense don’t have that many image ads that fit my site. ;)

      Linnish – I like them in soup too, but I prefer it with yellow bean sauce. :)

    21. cheese with a spoon

      Just read your recipe — it looks very tempting! I shall have to try this version sometime, panfried and drizzled with the sauce. I always have the soup kind but this will be a nice change.

    22. BuddingCook

      wah! i was too late. :( i didn’t see your message in time and i couldn’t find the yellow bean paste…:D but oh wellz next time. cause i saw that bean sauce. hehe

    23. Rasa Malaysia

      Cheese with a spoon – yeah, I think you will like this recipe. It’s very different from the soupy Yong Tow Foo. ;)

      Budding Cook – next time for sure.

    24. malaykid

      sigh… wheres ampang yong tau foo when u need them? since im not much of a cook, il wait for u to make me those yong tau foo ok? ;)

    25. kl_gal

      My god..weep..I’ve been craving young tau foo for 2 weeks now..even dreaming about it. Will try this recipe when I can find the fish paste

    26. Rasa Malaysia

      Malaykid – of course, next time when we jumpa lagi, I will cook these precious up for you to devour! Muahahaha.

      Little Corner of Mine – awww, you are so sweet. I am happy you loved my recipe.

      KL_Gal – betul ke? Sampai bermimbi-mimbi? OK, next gathering…stay tuned.

    27. Meghan

      Rasa, I love your website, and use it as gospel for trying new Asian Delights, however it is an exercise in masochism.

      I am currently living on an island in the Caribbean, where getting many ingredients is not possible (with the exception of Indian supplies). We have only one Asian market and it is modestly stocked. I so miss the metro areas with umpteen Asian groceries. I used to be overwhelmed when I went in and had no clue what to buy. Now I have an idea…

      Keep up the good work!

    28. Kel

      Guys, just got back from a 3 week holiday in M’sia and extremely home sick!! Does anyone know where I can get these fish paste/ emulsion in London?


    29. LilyC

      Brings back memories. My mum use to make the fish paste from scratch but now has gone to container fish paste like you. She also yonged “semi-hard” tofu, eggplant, mushroom caps and jalepenos. The jalepeno halves were my favorite.

      Also wanted to say that I enjoy your blog. Found a lot of recipes that my mum use to make when I was young. Too bad I didn’t pay attention to her cooking back then. Thanks You!

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