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Easy Yong Tofu / Stuffed Tofu (釀豆腐)



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Yong Tofu or Yong Tau Fu (釀豆腐) is a Chinese dish originated from Hakka cuisine. It is a soup dish uses tofu and a variety of vegetables to stuff with meat paste mixture of fish and pork. The dish originally uses tofu for stuffing, therefore it is called Yong Tofu,  which literally means “stuffed bean curd”. Ever since Yong Tofu gained its popularity, a variety of vegetables are used for stuffing such as the bitter gourd, green or red chilies, eggplant, okra and etc. Thus the name of Yong Tofu has been used to all foods prepared in such method.

The last time we prepared the dish was last year, when Sam made a big whole pot of Yong Tofu for New Year celebration, we ate that for lunch and dinner for a couple of days. This time we were so lucky as my good Hakka friend Heidi decided to make Yong Tofu for our small gathering a few weeks ago.  She mentioned that her mum makes traditional style Hakka Yong Tofu, she will buy fresh fish from the market and hand chop the fish into fresh and smoother texture. Also she will have to chop and beat the ground pork so they are smooth and juicy to combine well.

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Boiled Eggplant with Sauce

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I like eggplant. We often pick up eggplants from the market for cooking. Many times we ended upcooking our own recipe of Szechuan Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork , or omitted the spiciness for a simple version of Stir Fry Eggplant with Minced Pork. However I know not many people like eggplant maybe because of its texture, it will get mushy if it is overcooked. Or maybe they just don’t know how to handle eggplant.

Eggplant is really weird kind of vegetable or fruit. It has spongy texture and slight bitterness when raw. What I normally will do to prep the eggplant is cut it into pieces then soak and rinse with salt water. This will soften the texture for faster cooking and also help to reduce the amount of oil that absorbs in the eggplant when cooking.

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Green Curry

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If you’re not tired of Thai curries, here is another one for you – green curry. I am so into the Thai curries lately after I started off with panang curry and then red curry. The green curry is hotter than panang curry and it tends to be as hot as red curry. The names of most Thai curries are derived by their colors such as red curry and yellow curry. So does the green curry.

The cooking method of green curry is similar as the previous Thai curries. No fancy skills are needed for this dish. You might need to know the right ingredients to go well with the curry. Eggplant is always a good ingredient to go with Thai curries or some Asian curries. I used it in the green curry this time together with green bean. The result was great and it was cooked as yummy as those in Thailand.

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Szechuan Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork (魚香茄子)

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My boyfriend and I like eggplant, especially this Chinese recipe, Szechuan style Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork (四川魚香茄子). If you know Szechuan, you will definitely know the place is very famous for hot and spicy food such as Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐), Spicy Pork Strip (魚香肉絲), and etc. Previously I was always wondering why the dish is called Yu Xiang Qie Zi (魚香茄子) in Chinese, literally means “fish-fragrant” eggplant. After getting to know more about Szechuan cuisine, Yu Xiang (魚香) is actually a Szechuan style of culinary tradition. It’s named so because the preparation of the sauce resembles the taste and flavor of the fresh fish, but it doesn’t use real fish in cooking.

The main ingredients for the Szechuan Yu Xiang (魚香) dishes are basically standard; dried red chillies, scallions, ginger, and garlic; not forgetting sugar, salt, hot bean sauce and soy sauce. The ingredients are well incorporated to bring out the essential flavor and tastiness of salty, sour, sweet, spicy, aroma, and freshness, that make it another mouthwatering dish to be served perfectly with steamed rice.

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