Thursday, August 25, 2011


I am submitting this dish STEAMED CARP AND TAUFOO IN BEAN PASTE SAUCE for the Heritage Food trail hosted by Edith Ng @ Precious Moments.

This is a typical Cantonese fare- you can taste the freshness of the fish, lightness of the soy in the taufoo and the saltiness of the bean paste- a very clean ("ching") taste and flavour.

My Mother used to cook this dish when we were small. She used the freshwater carp for this dish. Freshwater carp were cheap those days before they became sought after item for the Chinese Restaurant especially for the Yee Sang at Chinese New Year.

I recall that there was this elderly lady selling these freshwater carp in the Petaling Street Market. There was a big tank full of swimming fishes and she could catch one and hit it hard on the head to daze it before making the kill. The carp is then sliced into 2 pieces- one with the bone on and one without. She then smeared the blood on the fish (to show that the fish is freshly killed?) and laid them on the table. Nowadays these fish are still being sold the same way.

My mother could normally buy the piece without the bone for making fish soup- finely slices of fish seasoned with julienned ginger, soya sauce, pepper, sesame oil and dropped into boiling water, seasoned with salt and served with spring onions and celery-very clear and tasty soup. Again typical Cantonese style of cooking.

For this dish, she could buy the fish with the bone on and that's actually only half the fish. So remember to buy a bigger piece.


Fresh carp - wash and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Soft white taufoo -drain and rub with a pince of salt

Bean Paste-(taucheong) - mixed with brown sugar, sesame oil, minced ginger and garlic (I like to add some chopped red chili) (adjust seasoning)

1 pickled sour plum


1. Place fish skin side up on plate with the taufoo by the side

2. Top with the bean paste sauce and sour plum

3. Steam over boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of fish)

4. Garnish with spring onions and celery.

5. Serve immediately


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