Authentic Hakka Nyong Teu Fu

Hometown Yong Tow Foo at Ampang Point
Hometown Yong Tow Foo at Ampang Point.

If there is anything about Mum’s cooking that I miss most now, it is her nyong teu fu. That is yong tau foo in Hakka. The ones she made were as authentic as they could be. I have yet to find one done they way she did them. I have eaten what were claimed to be Hakka yong tau foo but they do not taste the same, not even close. For the longest time, I have been hankering for those like Mum’s.

It is a blessing that Mum’s second sister, my Jee Ee, uses a similar recipe. Whenever I am in Penang, I would visit her at her home in Ayer Itam. She is my cousin Ah Huat‘s mother. I knew she knows the recipe but it just never crossed my mind to ask her, until yesterday.

I was going through some photographs when I came across some of yong tau foo that Wuan and I had when we went to Ampang Point recently. Coincidentally, I had also blogged about liking bitter gourd yong tau foo just before that. Some temptations are simply too difficult to resist. I picked up the phone and called Jee Ee and asked her for the recipe.

Just like Mum, Jee Ee does not quantify ingredients by weight. Two of this, half a catty of that, about twenty grains of this – I had a hard time following her. In the end, I only have a rough idea of how much each ingredient should be. Most importantly, I got an inkling of what the two secret spices are. These two spices made their yong tau foo unique in aroma.

One of these weekends, I am going to get Wuan to experiment with the recipe and see if we can recreate the flavour of Mum and Jee Ee’s Hakka nyong teu fu. It has been such a long time I have sunk my teeth into some. In the mean time, I will just have to make do with the Ampang yong tau foo from Restoran Foong Foong. They serve the best yong tau foo I have eaten so far, that is apart from the nyong teu fu that Mum used to make.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

One thought on “Authentic Hakka Nyong Teu Fu”

  1. ooo, I love yong tow foo, esp home-made ones. I was just reminiscing with my colleagues,
    in Msia we made the fish paste ourselves, and completing the whole process. My mother buys the fish (I dont know what kind) and we scrap the fish meat and literally pounding it, adding water and salt, till it becomes a paste. Make fish balls, yong tow foo, etc and putting it out the to hot sun to dry it. By evening, before the sun sets, it will
    all be good and ready for us to devour and savour.

    I was salivating just from reading what you wrote here…

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