Yufu, or Cantonese fish tofu! One of my all time favorite ingredients, I’m really happy we could finally crack this nut.
0:00 – Why everyone loves tofu puffs
0:22 – Introducing Cantonese Fish Tofu Puffs
1:44 – What fish to use?
2:25 – Making the fish tofu
7:46 – Making a milky fish stock
9:36 – Chris’s fish tofu, up to Steph’s standards?
INGREDIENTS, FISH TOFU
* Dried scallops (干瑶柱) -or- shrimp, ~10 or 8g mixed with ~1 cup hot, boiled water
* Fish fillet, preferably a fish high in myosin like lingyu, snapper, or bass (we used Tilapia), 325g
* Salt, 8g (1/2 tbsp)
* Slurry: potato starch (土豆淀粉), 100g mixed with 100mL of the above scallop soaking liquid
* Scallop soaking liquid from above, 50mL
* Fish sauce (鱼露), 5g, optional
* Egg white, 165g (about four large eggs worth)
* Peanut oil (花生油), 1 tbsp
PROCESS, FISH TOFU
Soak the dried scallops in hot, boiled water and set aside. The water should be cool by the time you use it (~60 minutes)
Slice your fillet of fish into thin sheets to ensure all pin bones are broken up. Then, using a pair of cleavers, begin to mince the fish into a fine paste. Doing so takes about five minutes for lingyu, fifteen minutes for tilapia, and somewhere in the middle for bass. At this point, your scallops should be cool and reconstituted – minced those up as well, combine, and mince it all together for another couple minutes. Optionally, I also like finish things by chopping in the same motion with a back of a knife for ~2 minutes to develop a bit of spring. Move over to a very large mixing bowl.
Add in the salt and stir very well – in one direction only. Then add in your slurry – bit by bit – and also stir that in in the same direction. Then go in with the scallop soaking liquid, and the fish sauce, and then the egg white all in the same manner. Take your time really stirring things together – from the time of adding the salt to finishing it all up, this takes me about fifteen minutes.
Right before frying, add in the 1 tbsp of peanut oil and intensely stir in the same manner for about two minutes.
Get a wok of oil up to a gently warm 65C. Squeeze the fish paste through your purlicue onto an oiled spoon and gently drop that into the wok. Work through your fish paste, then turn your flame to medium low.
After about 5-10 minutes, the fish tofus will begin to want to ‘pop’ up. Gently separate from the wok, then also gently break them apart. With a spider or strainer, push the tofus into the oil, while also shuffling them about. The tofus will puff and expand. Once they’re golden brown, after about 10-15 minutes, transfer over to a paper towel lined plate.
INGREDIENTS, MILKY FISH SOUP
Add ins for the soup:
* Fish tofus, 10 pieces
* Wood ear mushrooms (木耳), 5g
* Carrot, ~2 inches
* Luffa gourd (丝瓜), half -or- chayote (佛手瓜), 1
* Fish bones, belly, and head from one large fish
* Lard or oil to fry, ~1 tbsp
* Garlic, 3 cloves, smashed
* Hot, boiled water, ¾ cup
* Optional bit of dried scallop soaking liquid – enough to top up the milky fish stock to 750mL after straining
Salt, ½ tsp
Sugar, ½ tsp
MSG (味精), 1/8 tsp
White pepper powder (白胡椒粉), ½ tsp
Fish sauce (鱼露), ½ tsp
* Optional bit of julienned mild chili for garnish
Soak the wood ear mushrooms in cool water for about one hour.
Slice the wood ear into about 1cm pieces. Peel, then slice the carrot into about half cm sheets. Peel, then chop the luffa gourd or chayote into one inch pieces.
Melt the lard in a hot (preferably stick) wok or pot and fry the fish parts over a medium high flame. Once some fond is beginning to form, add in the crushed garlic and stir fry for 15-30 seconds. Add in the hot water and cover. The soup should be kept at a light boil, so something like a medium/medium low flame should be good.
Strain the stock. Optionally top off with the scallop soaking liquid to get to 750mL (water is also ok). Add the soup to a small pot and bring to a light boil.
Add in the mushroom and cook for 1 minute. Then the carrot, 1 minute. Luffa gourd, 1 minute. Then add in the fish tofus.
Add in the seasoning, and let everything boil together for 30-60 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and optionally garnish.
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Outro Music: คิดถึงคุณจัง by ธานินทร์ อินทรเทพ
Found via My Analog Journal (great channel): https://youtu.be/GHaL5H-VYRg