Monday, January 10, 2011

Homemade Fish Paste (Ta Yu Tan)

It is worth making fish paste at home because it does not only save you lots of money but it is also safer to be consumed. You never know the actual ingredients in the fish paste you find in the local oriental stores. Besides, I believe that they use many different types of leftover fishes just to process them into fish paste. Ever since I got my hands on the fish paste recipe, I do not buy any more fish paste made with preservatives from the market. I definitely want to thank my mom for teaching me how to make this "Thanks Mommy, whenever I make fish paste i think of you." I hope she can hear me now all the way from Ipoh. Hehe!! I wonder why each time I blog about the recipes, I always relate to my mother. Well, I can't deny this but she definitely taught me a lot about the tips in cooking. I hope the skills that I've learned from her can be passed down to her granddaughters, my 4 thousand golds.

Okay! Back to the fish paste, there are many kinds of method to cook fish paste, you can make them as fish balls( Yu Tan or Yu Wet) or even made as stuffings in vegetables like "Yong Tow Foo", the Hongkie called "Chien Yeong Sam Poh". Also, they can be just pan fried as fish cake (add some lemon grass, and lime juice and it will become Thai style fish cake).You might smell a little fishy after making this but it is worthwhile. Not to worry, if I can do it, you can too!

Preparation to make fish paste, i use mackerel fish(kau yu)
Basic ingredients
 Dilute 11/2 Tbsp Salt in 11/2 Cup Of Water, 1 Tbsp Sugar, 2 Tbsp Corn Starch, 5 Cloves Garlic(Minced) & 1Tbsp Pepper Powder
Clean the fish and wipe it with paper towel, slide the fish and use a metal spoon to scrape the flesh (i keep the fish bone, skin, head and tail to make fish soup black bean soup and my favorite  Ipoh Lew Fun)
Knife and press the flesh evenly and repeatedly.
Flatten the flesh and knead it clockwise, add partial of the corn starch(to thicken the flesh) continue to knead, add some water(with salt in it) little by little, not all of the water, then continue to knead, add in sugar, pepper powder and add the balance of the salt water, sugar, pepper powder and corn starch. Make a big or partial of it to a ball and starts to throw the fish paste. Do make sure you aim right and throw it back to the pail and throw it for several times and continue to knead the fish paste until it thickens. TIP: if it is too watery, add some corn starch. Continue to knead the flesh until it becomes moist and shiny.
This is the result of two mackerel fish. (medium sized and weigh approximately 4 - 5 pounds) There are total of two quart of fish paste from 2 fish. With this freshly made fish paste, I can make fresh fish paste soup(yu wet tong) and add some napa cabbage and thread noodles (Tonn Fun) then it will be perfect!!!

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