Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Homemade fish paste

Since my granddad suffered from the stroke, the only meat he is allowed to eat is fish. But... steam fish, fried fish, baked fish, grilled fish.... gosh it's boring. So mom bought fish to make "Yiu Wat" aka fish paste. Still fish, but at least the texture will be different.

One of the recommended fish to use for making "Yiu Wat" or fish balls is "Kau Yiu" (Cantonese). Not sure what this fish is called in other language, but this is what "Kau Yiu" look like.

And the tail.

1# Fillet the fish and remove the bones. Be careful as there might be bones stuck in the middle of the flesh.

2# Use a spoon to scrape the flesh off the bones and skin.

3# Add salt and pepper. Mix and chop up the flesh.

4# You can use this technique to make sure the fish is smashed up enough. Press the fish and smashing against the knife.

5# For every 500g of fish paste, add one table spoon of corn starch (any starch will do). Mix.

6# Add cold water 1/4 cup by 1/4 cup and mix until you get the moistness that you want.

7# Remember to smack the fish paste around. Not sure what this technique is for actually... but my granddad does this when he makes his fish paste for this yong tofu.
Maybe to make the fish meat more springy when cooked?

Add more starch if you like a harder "yiu wat", and more water to make it softer. My recipe makes a softer "yiu wat", so my advice is to add more starch or cut down on the water.

You can then transfer the paste into containers. Use a wet knife to cut them into squares; easier to remove and thaw when you want to cook them. Make sure you keep them in the freezer and finish them soon because there's no preservative in it.

You can use "yiu wat" for many dishes. Nice when added in soup noodles, or boiled in vegetables soups, or with porridge. Or boiled "yiu wat" then fried with other ingredients or vegetables. Cook them with thick sweet sauce, with sweet and sour sauce, with black pepper sauce... just a lot you can do with it. Even make them into fish fingers! (Soak the fingers in egg and breadcrumbs and deep fry)

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17 pieces of worms:

The Cooking Ninja

My mom tried once to make fish paste but it didn't turned out correct. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I'll ask my sis to translate it to my mom.


yu wat with instant noodle also not bad. Aiyooooo... now you remind me of the yu wat my aunty made. :)~

Keropok Man

i think i should do that too.
it looks so convenient to have them in the fridge and use them when needed.

hmmm can make them into otah otah too right? yum yum..


cooking ninja: Hope it works with this recipe =)

kok: Anything with instant noodles is good...LOL! ...I suddenly miss my Korean KimChi noodles... hungry already.

keropokman: Ahh Singapore have the freshest fish! My mom used to go over to Senokoh at mid night to buy then freeze fishes (cod fishhead rocks!!) to bring back to Malaysia.

Hmmm if you are talking about the paste otak otak, I'm guessing you can. Just add in the rest of the otak otak ingredients.


Wah, so convenient... but the mincing and debone process is a bit ma fan

Lee Ping

Dear Teckiee,
The store-bought fish paste is too salty and probably has additives, like preservatives. So, homemade is best.


jason: heheh actually its quite fun to make if oyu have the time. The bones and mincing is alright actually.

lee ping: yeahh just imagine you can keep fish paste for 1 year with preservatives.. thats really scary.


Been telling myself to do this but whenever I visit the market, I'll grab those premade ones. Real 'sep-phai'.


Woww..surely this is really some good smacking fish paste :) My mom used to do that too to get it completely moist, don't know why that technique is called for hehe :) Wahh..imagine some Hakka yong tow foo, with added bits of minced salted fish..*drool* I don't remember seeing this fish here, don't know what its called either, anyone ? Is it mackarel fish ?


tummythoz: What's 'sep-phai'

meltingwok: ohhh so thats what the smacking is for.. ahahaha. I dont think its is mackerel.. something else. The flesh is much more tender compared to mackerel.

Lee Ping

I will make my own fish paste from now on. Thanks for the recipe!


lee ping: great! You can modify it.. add all the goodies that your kids love! For yong tofu, add salted fish or squid, ...heh bee also can. Gives a better taste and fragrance.


'shep-pai' as in Cantonese for failure.


man how could you pass up the curry mee?


I used to work in fish cake factory and I think your fish paste very presentable. :)

Haru Zai

The fish is called Spanish mackerel or Tenggiri in Malays.. Cantonese is called as Kau Yu!!! Lol fish paste in instant mee plus some seaweed is better!!! Btw can consider add some minced pork and lamb into the fish paste too..


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