Yong Tau Foo 酿豆腐 @ Food Opera ION

酿豆腐 pronounced as Yong Tau Foo (YTF) is dialect translation for stuffed soybean curd. Although there are YTF from the Teochew and Hokkien dialect groups, the Hakkas claim to originate this dish so it is not uncommon to see eateries with signboards proudly displaying Hakka Yong Tau Foo.

Yong Tau Foo is a dish consisting primarily of different tofu products like taukwa which is firm soybean cakes, tauhoo which is softer than taukwa in texture, and taupok which is the deep-fried puffy tofu. The soya bean trio are stuffed with minced fish and pork or just fish paste alone.

Secondary food items includes bittergourds, eggplants, ladies fingers, green and red chilli peppers and taukee (deep-fried soya bean skin). Again all stuffed with the paste of minced fish and/or meat. Fishballs and meatballs are also common items.

Creative hawkers started to introduce more and more varieties into YTF. Food items like cuttlefish, crab sticks (surimi), deep-fried pig’s skin, mushrooms, egg rolls, ngoh hiang (meat rolls), seaweed, squid balls, prawn balls, vegetable balls, an assortment of green leafy vegetables, quail eggs, etc… etc…

The food items are cut into bite-size pieces, split and stuffed with freshly minced paste, cooked briefly in boiling water and then served either in soup or with the broth in a separate bowl.

Originally, the broth is a clear consomme of simmered dried anchovies and soya bean. These days, one can eat YTF with curry or laksa gravy.

In Malaysia, Ampang YTF is noted for their fried version and the food is served with a generous drizzle of starch thickened savoury gravy, with sweet bean sauce and spicy vinegared chilli dip on the side.

YTF can be eaten with steamed rice or noodles of your choice (rice noodles – kway teow, vermicelli – beehoon, glass noodles – tanghoon, yellow noodles, egg noodles and spinach noodles).

The other night while Vanessa was waiting for Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake, she walked over to Food Opera (part of Food Republic a food court chain which has established its presence in most shopping centres in Singapore) to dabao (take-out) my YTF dinner. The YTF meal below is a typical Singaporean style but I do not know which dialect group this belongs to.

YTF Dinner to go from Food Opera, by Food Republic.<br />If you have Passion Card, there's a 10% discount.

YTF Dinner to go from Food Opera, by Food Republic.
If you have Passion Card, there’s a 10% discount.

My choice of noodle was beehoon (rice vermicelli).

My choice of noodle was beehoon (rice vermicelli).

The food items in the bowl are (from left to right) taukwa, taupok, bittergourd, fishball and meatball.<br />In the soup are the same items as those in the bowl with a serving of seaweed (blackish looking strands) and ngoh hiang (meat roll) which I only saw near the end of the meal.

The food items in the bowl are (from left to right) taukwa, taupok, bittergourd, fishball and meatball.
In the soup are the same items as those in the bowl with a serving of seaweed (blackish looking strands) and ngoh hiang (meat roll) which I only saw near the end of the meal.

I liked to eat my YTF with the dipping sauces mixed into the soup. I learnt to eat YTF this way from an Indonesian classmate during secondary school days.

I liked to eat my YTF with the dipping sauces mixed into the soup.
I learnt to eat YTF this way from an Indonesian classmate during secondary school days.

YTF is considered a healthy meal if one instructs the vendor not to add oil to the soup and limit the intake of the dipping sauces. Its popularity in the Muslim community is also on the rise, with many halal establishments using paste made with only fish and/or meat other than pork.

The meal I had above cost less than S$8 after discount and I felt it was value for money. The broth was tasty and the food fresh. I especially liked the tender meatballs which I suspect had fish paste and perhaps squid in them (first time tasted meatballs with this type of texture). Overall, a very satisfying meal and I will eat YTF from this food court again and again.

Pictures below were taken last year when I first visited Food Opera upon my return to Singapore. I was with my girlfriend, Space Donut, who raves about the beef noodles in this food court.

Food Opera @ ION is part of Food Republic.

Food Opera @ ION is part of Food Republic.

Yong Tau Foo Stall
Food Opera @ ION Orchard
Address: ION Orchard,
2 Orchard Turn, #B4,
Singapore 238801.

Happy eating 🙂

Click here to view Hakka Yong Tau Foo.

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Comments
6 Responses to “Yong Tau Foo 酿豆腐 @ Food Opera ION”
  1. renxkyoko says:

    In the Philippines, they call the vermicelli from mungbean, sotanghon, and the other kind, from rice, bijon ( pronounced beehon ).

    I hope you can go to the Philippines and check out the food there. They are totally different, Sam. Most probably due to Spain’s 400 year old influence and 50 years of US. In Spain, i was so surprised that almost the food there, including the names, are basic in the Philippines… It’s in Asia, but cuisine is different. You’ll find it interesting.

  2. Lignum Draco says:

    Hard to tell how big the serve is, but was it enough? It sounds healthy, but I would not limit the oil and dipping sauces. 🙂

    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Draco, they charge by per piece so it’s really up to you how much you can consume. The prices are fixed as it’s a chain food court, so no worries about being overcharged. I had 8-9 items and a packet of beehoon which was quite a big portion. You know I have a big appetite and I hate to say it’s enough, but yes it was! Lol… 🙂

  3. Valerie says:

    Hi,I havnt done this before,don’t know how to blog.Discovered this just by chance,I’ve never seen food recipes like this there great and so fresh.I live in Scotland and I have never seen anything like this.Best wishes Valerie

    • Sam Han says:

      Hi Valerie, you have the same name as my elder daughter. Thanks for visiting. I hope you get to see more interesting food from this side of our world.

      I haven’t been to Scotland. Perhaps you can blog something about your country and food? And remember to send me your blog link if you do.

      Have a great week ahead 😀

      Best regards, Sam.

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