Look no further for the perfect savoury bite-sized afternoon snack: deep-fried stuffed tau pok (dried bean curd puffs). You might be tempted to eat these golden, crispy bits straight out of the wok, but be careful as they might still be too hot!
You can make your own fish paste – go for mackerel as the fish meat has a bouncy texture. Or use squid to blend into a paste. Remember to remove the squid skin so you do not end up with paste that has a purplish hue.
If you choose to make your own paste, do season to taste with salt or light soya sauce. I use off-the-shelf fish paste as it is convenient and does not require the use of a food processor.
But I do not add salt or light soya sauce as the fish paste is quite salty. The saltiness is just right when mixed with the minced meat and other ingredients.
Dipping the bean curd puffs in beaten eggs before frying makes them crispy and gives them a deeper golden colour.
It is best to serve these stuffed bean curd puffs freshly fried, but if you have any leftover, simply put them in a toaster oven to get them all hot and crispy again.
- 10 tau pok (dried bean curd puffs)
- 200g minced meat
- 1 tsp Chinese rice wine
- 200g store-bought fish paste
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Half a carrot (40g), diced
- 1 stalk of spring onion, sliced finely
- 1 stalk of flat leaf parsley, diced
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Dash of white pepper
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 400ml of cooking oil for deep-frying
- 2 beaten eggs
Halve each bean curd puff laterally.
Place the minced meat in a mixing bowl. Add the Chinese rice wine and mix well.
Add the fish paste, chopped garlic, diced carrot, spring onion and flat leaf parsley.
Add the sesame oil and white pepper.
Add the cornflour and mix thoroughly.
Take one tablespoon of the mixture and stuff the bean curd puff.
Heat a wok with enough oil to deep-fry the stuffed bean curd puffs.
Take each stuffed bean curd puff and dip in the beaten eggs, then gently place in wok to deep-fry until golden brown. Fry in batches of four or five.
Place on kitchen paper to drain off the oil. Serve hot.
ABOUT THE CHEF: You can follow Hedy on her Instagram account @hedchefhedykhoo for more of her culinary adventures.
Text and recipe: Hedy Khoo/The Straits Times