Thursday, July 20, 2006
Yong Tau Foo
You got to admit that it's hard to find heart-healthy food at hawker centres. Every corner you turn, there are stalls selling char kway teow, laksa, fried carrot cake, and many more oily but very tasty food! Don't get me wrong, these local favourites I love to eat but it's definitely not advisable to eat them all the time. Usually when I'm out, I'd rather eat at hawker centres because it's cheap and yummy at the same time. Thank God food in Singapore is so cheap! Seriously, it's a food paradise here.
Anyway, my whole point is that, while the food is cheap and tasty, it tends to be on the more oily and unhealthy side. That's why I am so thankful for all the yong tau foo stalls all over the island. Haha, Singaporeans, you should know what I mean. Every food court and hawker centre has one. It's so convenient and it doesn't taste bad at all. Well maybe because I love veggies and tofu!
For the uninitiated, yong tau foo is actually a soup dish with Hakka origins. The fun part is that you get to choose what you put in it. But there's normally a fixed but varied selection that includes tofu, chilli, ladies fingers (okra), bitter gourd, kang kong, quail eggs, bean sprouts, sea weed, fish balls, cuttlefish, lettuce, crabsticks. Also, most of the ingredients are stuffed with fish paste and that gives it a chewy factor that I love. So after deciding what ingredients you want (you actually use tongs and put them in a bowl yourself), you let the stall vendor know how you want it served - with soup, dry, with bee hoon (rice vermicelli), egg noodles or with rice.
To find out more about Yong Tau Foo, check out this useful website.
As always, I have my favourite stalls whenever I go around eating my favourite dishes and one of my fav yong tau foo stalls is located at the hawker centre opposite Parkway Parade. I love the stall's name: Kara OK Yong Tau Hoo. And you know what? It's really cheap there as well. One piece of ingredient costs only $0.25. Normal prices elsewhere can range from $0.30 to $0.40. So for example, one bowl like this:
Set me back by only $2.20. Okay, I know it looks darn healthy. But it usually comes with a saucer of chilli sauce and sweet brown sauce, so you dip the ingredients in as you like it. I love having soy beans in my soup too, that's why I like this stall at Marine Parade. It's awesome. I know you can't go wrong with yong tau foo since it's so so simple but hey, you got to have a good soup base and fresh ingredients or else the entire dish wouldn't taste good!
So there you have it, a heart-healthy dish that ranks rather high in my favourite foods list. I just had another bowl today, after running at East Coast Park. Yummm... Try it out, why don't you.