Hakka Yong Tou Fu (YTF)


Mackerel Fish (about 1.2-1.5kg)     1 whole

Belly Side Pork (less fat)     600g – 800g

Salted Fish (Mui Heong)     2 slices


Salt     2 1/2 tsp

White Pepper     dashes

Corn Flour     2 tbsp

Sesame Oil     4 tsp

Salted Fish crumbs     100g – 150g


Bitter Gourd (sliced and deseed)     1 whole

Brinjal (refer attached picture)     1 whole

Red Chilli (cut an opening and deseed)     8 – 10 pcs

Okra (cut an opening and deseed)     10 – 15pcs

Tofu Pok (cut into half)     8 – 10pcs

White Tofu (cut into half triangularly)     4 – 5pcs

Step 1 : To make fish paste

  • To remove flesh from the fish (credit to Lena Lai who taught me this)
    • once fish separated into 3 parts, use a metal spoon to scrap the flesh.
    • skin part, scrap from tail to head
    • bone part, scrap from head to tail
    • keep the bones and skin for Yong Tou Fu soup
  • To ‘Beat’ fish paste
    • prepare a bowl of salt water
    • place fish flesh into a stainless steel bowl
    • wet both hands with salt water
    • gather fish flesh and lift up and throw back onto the bowl
    • repeat for about 15-25mins until fish paste is formed
    • set aside and store into the refrigerator

** Fish paste is easily formed if the mackerel fish is very fresh.

Step 2 To mince belly side pork


I’ve chosen Belly Side Pork because it is less fat, 100% lean meat is not suitable as it will cause the paste taste hard and lack of tenderness.

Step 3 To fry salted fish and fish skin and bones

** If couldn’t find Mui Heong salted fish, can be replaced with mackerel salted fish.

Step 4 To prepare YTF paste 


  • Combined, fish paste, minced meat, salted fish and seasoning ingredients, mixed well.
  • Scope a small portion to airfry for 5 – 8mins to taste, adjust seasoning according to your taste preference.
  • Set aside and keep in the refrigerator.

Step 5 To prepare YTF soup


  • Heat up 1.5Ltr – 2Ltr of water, place fried fish skin and bones into the soup.
  • Slow cook for 2 – 3 hours.
  • Add sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste.

** I’ve added fried anchovies and few slices of pickled mustard (榨菜) to enhance the taste.

Step 6 To prepare vegtables

Step 7 To stuff YTF paste into the vegetables


  • Brush with a layer of cooking oil, air-fry it for 8 – 10mins. Alternatively, fry in wok until cook.
  • Once soup is ready, heat up stuffed YTF into soup, garnish with fried onion, fried garlic and coriander.
  • Serve with noodles or rice.

** After stuff the YTF paste into the vegetables, brush with a layer of salt water to smoothen it.

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