Malaysian Hakka yong tofu

Here’s another Chinese New Year dish that we always have without failed. This is typically a Hakka favourite in Malaysia. This recipe is handed down by Grandma to us. We missed Grandma at Chinese New Year celebration. It’s a lot of hard work and do take up time.

Now my dad taken over Grandma’s favourite dish. He had showed me how to do it. I am glad to learn from helping him to prepare it. I just don’t like deep frying it as the oil will splatter all over. Got my dad to do frying. It can be like play dough, for kids to help out in preparing. However, it does require gentle hand stuffing the paste inside the firm tofu, dried tofu, eggplant and bitter gourd individually.

Up to today, I still have the thought of been burnt by oil. Anyway, yong tofu can be eaten on its own as snack in between waiting for guests to arrive. Can be addictive but have to watch not to eat all and none for the guests. Thank you, God, for providing us Grandma recipe and for my dad to show me and deep fry it for us. Yong tofu is so delicious, comfort and great dish for Chinese New Year. Let’s cook!!!!


750 g fish paste
600 g pork minced
1 – 1/2 heaped teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
freshly ground white pepper
10 pieces square firm tofu, cut half diagonally, make a small slit on the cut side, dig out and keep the flesh
10 pieces tau foo pok (deep fried tofu balls), cut half diagonally, make a small slit on the cut side, dig out and keep the flesh
3 medium long eggplant, slice at an angle, slice horizontally almost to the edge
3 small bitter gourd, remove seeds and slice at an angle
about 3 cups vegetable oil for deep frying
a small bowl of salted water


In a small cup, mix the salt with the water well. Set aside the salted water. Meanwhile, add about 1/3 of the salt water, firm tofu and tau foo pok flesh and a dash of pepper to the mince pork and paste; continue stirring the mince and paste to mixing well until the salt water is used up. Refrigerate with cling foil the mixture of mince and paste to harden it a bit. Then prepare other items for stuffing.

Bring paste and mince to room temperature, use a teaspoon or fingers to stuff the tofu (be extra gentle with this one), fried tofu balls and vegetables. The amount of paste to use varies, bitter gourd uses up more filling. Clean up the edges and smooth out the fish paste with some salted water. (Avoid overstuffing the tofu and vegetables as they may tear/break during frying.

In a large wok, heat up oil over medium heat and fry the stuffed items by batches, starting with the vegetables and ending with the fresh tofu. Lay the stuffing side down to cook the mince/paste, then flip over and around to cook the vegetable/tofu, about 7-9 minutes each side as meat cooks slower than just fish. The tau foo pok is already cooked, this will take the shortest time.

Ensure oil is hot enough for deep frying to avoid oil-clogged results. Drain the fried items on kitchen towels before transferring them to the serving platter. Add stir fry broccoli with a bit of sauce to yong tofu. Serve with plain white rice or noodle soup such as white curry noodle or with chili sauce.

Note: You can also stuff the fresh red chilies. To make the sauce: hot boil water ½ c, half Tbs sugar, half Tbs dark caramel sauce, 3 Tbs light soy sauce, 1 Tbs chicken powder, and mix well. To thickened sauce, add 1 Tbs cornflour and 4 Tbs water.