My mum makes a superb and incredibly easy taucheo chilli sauce with only 3 basic ingredients – garlic, chilli padi and taucheo (soy bean paste/ 豆酱). Besides using it in my steamed flower crabs recipe, my other favourite use of this taucheo chilli is to cook it in claypot with yong tau foo, and it’s simply so delicious that I will finish all that savoury and spicy sauce with extra helpings of rice. This is certainly another of my favourite everyday home-styled dish (家常菜). I love cooking with yong tau foo (niang dou fu/酿豆腐) as they provides a lot of food variety in one dish – definitely a well-balanced and healthy dish in under 30 minutes. All I need to cook to go with this dish is steamed rice.
For best results, cook this dish in a claypot though you can also use a regular wok or pan.
Yong Tau Foo (YTF) literally stands for stuffed bean curd, though the name has expanded to a broader term and apply not just for stuffed bean curd, but to all kinds of ingredients stuffed with fish paste – for example, lady’s fingers (orka), bitter gourd (bitter melon), eggplant (brinjal) etc. Even ingredients which are not stuffed such as meat balls, dumplings and certain vegetables have now been associated with common YTF selections.
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:10 mins
350 grams "yong tau foo" about 15 pieces or so
1 tbsp cooking oil
8 garlic cloves peeled
4 chilli padi (bird’s eye chili) to taste
1 tbsp taucheo (soy bean paste/ 豆酱)
1/2 cup water
Cook yong tau foo pieces in boiling water for about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Using an electric blender, first grind the garlic and chilli until finely chopped. Add in taucheo and blend until a paste is formed. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.
Heat oil in claypot or wok, and stir fry taucheo paste prepared in step 2 until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add water; bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the blanched yong tau foo pieces and stir to coat them well in the sauce.
Noob Cook Tips
When cooking the yong tau foo pieces, note that cooking time will vary for different types of food. The thinner slices will cook faster, so take them out earlier as they are cooked.
Tip from my mum: When grinding the taucheo chilli paste, the garlic and chilli are added to the blender first. Add the taucheo only after the garlic and chilli become finely chopped. This is because the sticky taucheo will prevent the garlic and chilli from being grinded if everything is added in the blender at the same time.
For best results, cook and serve this dish in a claypot.