Yong Liew (Yong Tau Foo)

Yong Liew (Yong Tau Foo)

Yong Liew (Yong Tau Foo) – This famous Hakka-style yong tau foo (also fondly referred to as ‘yong liew‘ aka stuffed … fish paste made from securely-guarded traditional Hakka household secret. it is up to you to create a recipe for yourself that you really really like and then pass on that recipe as your household tradition.

I will give you a guide of my recipe. In my case living in UK I do not have much choices where the fish paste is concerned. I find it better to mix my paste.

I also love to add salted fish but as I have only 2 packets left (from Malaysia) I did not want to use them. Please refer to the pics. If you have any question please feel free to leave me a message.

Yong Liew (Yong Tau Foo)


  • 500 g Mackerels or white fish or the frozen one in my pic
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 bowl Cold water


TIP – Use a clean chopping board
TIP – If you are using a chopping board make sure to line your floor with paper and board on top as the fish paste will fly everywhere.
TIP – You can use a food processor but make sure not to overflow it as they get stuck in the middle inside the blade.
TIP – Use enough water to reach the consistency and softness you want. Fresh fish may needs more water.
TIP – Use cold salt water to wet your hands when you are throwing the paste.

The Paste Mix. You can just use the fish paste on it’s own by adding, salt, white pepper, cornstarch and cold tap water. As far as I could remember this was how my grandmother used to do hers. 

I have make fish paste mix with salted fish, fish paste with dried shrimps and chicken with prawns. I love all of them. Remember if you use salted fish and dried shrimps it is better to fry them first for that amazing umami taste. Wash and soak dried shrimps and pound them slightly before frying.

Please remember you can add in sesame oil, chicken powder and soy sauce even. Adding mince pork makes for firmer paste. Use the mixture of fish and prawns for bean-curd wraps and bak choy. They are better with softer paste. 

The vegetables you can use to stuff with your paste. You can use not only the usual toufo fresh or fried, bean-curd skin, chillies, long beans, bitter-gourds, mushrooms, Chinese fried dough you tiaw, aubergines, flipped inside out toufo pop, baby pak choy …….let your imagination run wild. 😀 

Misc pics. 

The final presentations.

Enjoy trying.

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