Yong Tau Foo

Rate this recipe


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Heritage Cooking

Chinese Heritage Cooking

By Christopher Tan and Amy Van

Published 2018

  • About

Different styles of yong tau foo are available in Singapore. The simplest and most popular type, often found in hawker centres and food courts, has white fish paste stuffed into various kinds of bean curd and fresh vegetables such as bitter gourd, chillies and aubergines (eggplants/ brinjals), which are poached and eaten dry or in broth. Traditional Hakka yong tau foo is stuffed with a mixture of minced pork and fish, then deep-fried and braised. Some recipes for the filling include salted fish for an added flavour dimension.


  • Firm bean curd (tau kwai) 6 pieces
  • Cooking oil for frying
  • Water 375 ml (12 fl oz / cups)
  • Spring onion (scallion) 1, chopped

Meat Paste

  • Dried prawns (shrimps) 1 Tbsp
  • Pork belly 400 g (14⅓ oz)
  • Mackerel fillets 200 g (7 oz)
  • Finely chopped shallots 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic 3 cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground white pepper to taste
  • Chinese rice wine 1 Tbsp
  • Light soy sauce 1 Tbsp
  • Cornflour (cornstarch) 2 tsp


  • Oyster sauce 2 Tbsp
  • Cornflour (cornstarch) 2 tsp, mixed with 2 Tbsp water


  1. Cut each bean curd square in half diagonally to get 12 triangles in total. Set aside.
  2. Prepare meat paste. Soak dried prawns in lukewarm water for 15 minutes, then drain, pat dry and chop finely. Slice off pork belly skin and discard or save for another use. Dice pork belly with a cleaver, then use repeated chopping motions to mince it coarsely on the chopping board. Remove skin and bones from mackerel fillets, then dice flesh and mince it in the same way. Combine minced pork and fish in a bowl, then add dried prawns, shallots and garlic and mix everything thoroughly. Add salt, pepper, rice wine, light soy sauce and cornflour and mix well.
  3. With a small sharp knife, slit a pocket along the longest side of each bean curd triangle. Ensure pocket is large enough to stuff, but do not cut too deep into bean curd or it may break. With a teaspoon, scoop some meat paste into the pocket in each bean curd triangle, packing it in well and neatly.
  4. Heat oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Gently place stuffed bean curd triangles into wok, meat-side down. Fry for about 2 minutes, until well browned. Turn bean curd and fry both triangular sides for 2 minutes each, until golden brown.
  5. Add water to the wok and bring to a steady simmer. Cover and cook for 3–4 minutes, until stuffed triangles are cooked through to their centres. Lift out bean curd triangles and arrange on a serving plate.
  6. Stir oyster sauce and cornflour slurry into liquid left in wok and simmer, stirring, for several seconds until sauce boils and thickens. Pour sauce over bean curd, garnish with spring onion and serve hot with rice and other side dishes.