By | November 21, 2016

~ Pan-fried Tofu with Stuffed Fish Paste in Plum Sauce ~

Any Hakka people from Land Below the Wind of Sabah in the East Malaysia would be familiar with the term “Yong Chap”. “Yong Chap” literally means “Stuffed Mix”. It refers to various tofu and types of vegetables stuffed with fresh mixed of pork & fish paste. It may range from white tofu, fried tofu, okra, brinjal, bittergourd, beancurd skin stuffed with a reasonable amount of fish paste in the middle or on top of these pieces and topped with some thick or thin gravy, depending on one’s preference. Some served with a light watery curry sauce while others may prefer a thick fermented soy bean gravy.

The store-bought version of “Yong Chap” that I usually get back from my hometown are non-fried and therefore less greasy. They are stuffed with genuine and reasonable amount of fish paste too. Unfortunately, I no longer have access to such premium version. Most, if not all store-bought here in Singapore, especially brinjal, are usually soaked with oil as they are deep-fried and without a genuine piece of fish paste stuffed. Most stalls do not even stuff brinjal with fish paste.

On this fine day, I have finally allocated some time to make my very first “Batang” fish paste and I cooked up 2 homely flavoured dishes with them, a Spinach Fishball Clear Soup and “Yong Chap”, the recipe which I am sharing here. I did not whip up a wide variety of stuffed items as I do not have sufficient fish paste to go with it. Hence, I have selected two types which are of my hubby’s and my favourite, tofu (tau kwa) and brinjal. This is also a non-typical version of “Yong Chap”. I did not mix the fish paste with pork and I cooked up some plum sauce instead to top the items.

These pieces of stuffed tofu and brinjal were pan-fried and turned at the perfect temperature of 90°C with an AMC 28cm Hotpan on a Navigenio. They were perfectly browned with little oil added to the pan. Well-balanced fish paste stuffed on the tofu and brinjal, topped with sweet and sour plum sauce, makes each bite flavourful, each piece a pleasure. We can’t stop chomping pieces after pieces. Worried that we will finish everything, our little girl quickly reserve a few pieves of the tofu by poking them onto her plate!

Pan-fried Tofu with Stuffed Fish Paste in Plum Sauce Recipe (Serves 3) :

  1. 450 grams Batang Fish (200 grams Homemade Fish Paste used were prepared in advance to break the cooking preparation time)
  2. 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  3. 1/2 White Pepper
  4. 1 pack of 400grams Tau Kwa (cut into 8 squares each piece)
  5. 2 small size Brinjal (cut into 1 inch thick, slit in the middle for stuffing)
  6. 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
  7. 3 cloves Garlic (minced)
  8. 6 tablespoons Plum Sauce (any brand of your choice)
  9. 120ml Water
  10. 1 teaspoon Corn Starch

AMC Healthy Cooking Method :

A. Preparing the Homemade Fish Paste

  1. Scrap the Batang fish flesh with a metal spoon and place all flesh into an AMC 20cm Combi Bowl.
  2. With a hand-held blender, pulse on medium speed a couple of times to slightly mince the flesh.
  3. Lift all flesh with 1 hand and throw them back into the combi bowl for 30 times until flesh appear glossy to make the fish paste springy.
  4. In the midst of the “lift & throw” process, add salt, pepper and sprinkle the fish paste with little water and mix well.

B. Pan-frying Stuffed Tofu (Tau Kwa) and Brinjal

  1. Preheat AMC 28cm 4.0 liter Hot Pan unit with Navigenio heat level “3” to 50°C or “Meat Window”. Use Audiotherm as an indicator by turning it on, place on lid knob/Visiotherm, indicating 50°C or “Meat Window”.
  2. When Audiotherm beeps, it indicates readiness for pan-frying. Turn off Audiotherm, lower Navigenio heat level to “2” and remove lid. Add oil followed by Stuffed Tofu/ Brinjal to pan unit.
  3. Cover pan with lid and pan-fry up to 90°C. Activate Audiotherm, place on lid knob/Visiotherm, at 50°C or “Meat Window” for 90°C or “Turning Point” indication.
  4. When Audiotherm beeps the second time at 90°C indicating “Turning Point”, remove lid and turn the Stuffed Tofu/ Brinjal pieces to pan fry the other side.
  5. Cover pan with lid and pan-fry up to 90°C. Activate Audiotherm, place on lid knob/Visiotherm, at 50°C or “Meat Window” for 90°C or “Turning Point” indication.
  6. Continue to pan-fry the 2nd batch of Stuffed Tofu/Brinjal by adding them to the pan unit. Repeat step 3 to 5 until all are pan-fried. Set aside.

 C. Simmering Gravy/Sauce

  1. Continue with Navigenio heat level “3” to 50°C or “Meat Window”. Use Audiotherm as an indicator by turning it on, place on lid knob/Visiotherm, indicating 50°C or “Meat Window”.
  2. When Audiotherm beeps, it indicates readiness to cook up the gravy. Turn off Audiotherm and remove lid. Add garlic followed by diluted plum sauce into pan unit. Stir well, cover with pan with lid.
  3. Let gravy gently heat in pan on Navigenio with the residual heat.
  4. Serve with warm rice or noodles.

Tips : “Turning Point” is the point when the cooking temperature reaches 90°C. Audiotherm beeps the first time at 50°C or “Meat Window”, and beeps the second time at 90°C. At this temperature, all pan-fried items are ready to be turned from one side to the other without fuss! Believe it or not?!

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Prepare ingredients required.

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Place Batang fish flesh side up.

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Scrap the flesh out with a spoon.

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Blend the fish flesh extracted with a hand blender by pulsing a couple of times on medium speed in an AMC 20cm Combi Bowl.

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Lift and throw the flesh until they appear slightly glossy to make springy fish paste. Add salt, pepper and sprinkle with little water in the midst.

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Done.

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Stuff 3/4 teaspoon of pre-prepared homemade fish paste onto the tofu (tau kwa) and in between the slit-opened brinjal.

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Preheat Pan on Navigenio heat “level 3” to 50°C or “Meat Window” for pan-frying.

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Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil to pan and swirl to coat pan evenly. Place tofu onto pan.

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Lower Navigenio heat to “Level 2”.

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Cover pan with lid and continue to cook up to 90°C or “Turning Point”.

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Remove lid and turn tofu pieces over to pan-fry the other side.

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Nicely browned tofu flipped over.

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Cover pan again to pan-fry the other side up to 90°C or “Turning Point”.

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Fish paste side nicely pan-fried. Set aside.

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Add remaining pieces of tofu and brinjal to pan. No additional oil is required.

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Cover pan again to pan-fry up to 90°C or “Turning Point”.

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Nicely browned tofu and brinjal flipped over.

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Cover pan again to pan-fry the other side up to 90°C or “Turning Point”.

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Dish out all tofu and brinjal pieces and set aside.

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Add garlic to pan. No additional oil required.

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Add plum sauce diluted with water to pan.

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Cover lid and simmer plum sauce up to 60°C or “Meat Window”.

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Scoop plum sauce onto all tofu and brinjal pieces and serve warm.

2018 Jan 10 : Another satisfying dinner with homemade fish paste stuffed in tofu & made into balls steamed for 2 minutes.

15th Jan 2019 : Steamed Silken Tofu with Homemade Fish Paste (4 minutes with Classic Lid).

 

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