Wednesday, August 24, 2011
My mother's parents came from GuangXi, China. If you've heard of the beautiful mountains of GuiLin, that is located in GuangXi. But my maternal grandparents are not from GuiLin, but from Rongxian 容县, which is located in the South of Guangxi. So that makes me half Cantonese half Guangxi. Can I speak the Guangxi dialect? My mom refused to teach us, saying that this dialect is of no use here. No one speaks it, so there's no need to learn. My mom speaks Guangxi, Cantonese, Hakka, Teochew and Hokkien. But her kids can only speak Cantonese. Pathetic.... I may not know how to speak the dialect, but once I hear someone saying "Ngo Eew Lei " (I'm calling you) I know that person is of Kwong Sai origin as they speak "call" as "Eew", unlike Cantonese it's "gew", or Hokkien is "giu", or Hakka it's "gew" as well. KwongSais will 'Eew" you.
When the KwongSai Chinese came to the then Federation of Malay States, they settled in areas where there are mines and rubber estates, doing 'dirty jobs' that is not done by the other dialects (Hokkien-businesses like grocery shops, Hainanese-food, Hakka and Cantonese -Mining, Teochew-rice and liquor) Most of those in Perak settled along Perak river, mostly from mid Perak up to the north. Towns like Lenggong, Manong, and Kuala Kangsar and all small villages nearby these towns is where you find the most KwongSai Chinese. Other places with lots of Kwong Sais are in Pahang-- Bentong and Mentakab. If anyone that knows the whereabout of other Kwong Sais, please tell me. I'd love to know.There is one facial trait among the KwongSai, and that is the forehead 广西额头 which is typically wide and flat, with a high hairline. My friends who are KwongSais especially the men, they do possess this typical forehead (I won't say all, but just those that I happen to know). Even my mom has it, so does my brother.
I'm sure most would have heard of Hakka Yongtofu. What about KwongSai Yongtofu?
I remember eating this dish once at my maternal grandpa's and I can recall how much I hated it. Even when I was a kid, I do eat chinese chives. But this stuffed tofu sort of puts me off due to the smell. But when I had this again few years ago in KK, which has a lot of Kwong Sai people, I fell in love with it. It shows, I've matured, LOL.
Put water into the steamer and into the dish. If not the tofu will be dry
During mom's stay with me when Mike went to KL for a trade fair over the weekend., I took this opportunity to prepare this for my dearie mom the same day I did Puppy Duck. She told me, it's a special delicacy prepared only during special occasions like ancestral memorial days (生忌死忌), Chinese New Year, mid-autumn festival , so on and so forth. Grandma will make a lot, a whole big pot of it and everybody will be feasting on them. It was the only type of stuffed tofu my mom knew until much later. Mom said, grandma will stack the tofu in a pot, put some water into the pot, and "steam-boil" the stuffed tofu. The tofus are actually sitting in the steaming liquid. When the tofu's filling surface are set, then more water is added in to simmer the tofu and this creates a broth that is super delicious with rice.
Because I didn't make as many as grandma did, say... not even 10% of it, (LOL, yes, she made more than 100 each time to feed more than 12 mouths), I only steamed them instead of "steam-boiling" them. Adding water into the dish while steaming created a very moist tofu and it was delicious. The water was almost all absorbed by the tofu.
When the tofus came out from the steamer, I took one and ate. I asked mom to quickly come and eat while it's still hot. Mom took one, sank her teeth in...............her eyes closed............ half smiling half laughing...."Oh so delicious!!!" Trying hard to withhold all the juices as they were half dripping from her mouth.
Nothing beats the smile on my mother's face on that moment. My heart was totally warm and fuzzy to see her enjoying it. She told me, it's been so long since she's eaten this, and she kept on talking about how her mom made this and all the stories related to this tofu. That is 100% satisfaction for me to see the joy on my mother's face.
With this successful try out, I made double batch of this for my mom to bring home. My pure Cantonese sister in laws also enjoyed this stuffed tofu and it's a first for them to taste this.
So, here's one of my mother's favourite, Kwong Sai Stuffed Tofu
Whatever changes you want to make to this recipe, never change the tofu puffs, pork and chives as ingredients.
It's what makes it Kwong Sai style.
KwongSai (Guangxi) Stuffed Tofu
Recipe source: Wendyywy's mother
100gm minced pork (20% fat)
50gm fish paste (if use fish flesh, add *)
50gm Chinese chives, chopped
¼ tsp salt
Dash of pepper
1 tsp cornstarch
7 pieces of tofu puff (more of less depending on the size of your tofu puff) or called locally as 'taufupok"
*If using fish flesh instead of paste, add in additional 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp sugar, ½ tsp cornstarch, 25ml water. Recipe for fish paste here . Use the paste raw in this recipe.
1. Mix all the ingredients together except tofu puff to form a pasty filling.
2. Cut a hole in tofu puff, and stuff the cuttings back into the tofu puff.
3. Fill the tofupok with fillings until full.
4. Arrange stuffed tofu on steaming dish (must be deep) and fill the dish with boiling water (half way up the tofu)
5. Steam on high heat for 20 minutes.
Or you can fill it up this way, with a slit
I made these the next day for my mom to bring home
And see Lyanne.... the 1/4 Kwong Sai girl,
I'm half, so, she's 1/4, see....
I'm submitting this to Edith's Heritage Food Trail event