We went behind the scenes of this home factory to see how beancurd products are made from scratch in the village of Titi at Jelebu, Negeri Sembilan.
The next time you wander around Titi Market, you’ll spot a family selling freshly made tofu and tofu puff (commonly pronounced as tau fu pok). Known for their exceptionally fresh beancurd goodies, they supply to almost all the restaurants in the surrounding area.
But what makes them so special? We were told that everything is made from scratch. Every day. But we decided to find out for ourselves.
Behind the Scenes of a Home Factory
The Siow family does not normally open their home to visitors, so we were fortunate to get a glimpse of what goes on in their humble home factory. Much of the action happens in their little kitchen in the wee hours of the morning.
Every day, the family begin their painstaking process from 2am. They would grind soy beans to get the milk, and sieve them through a semi-permeable cloth. This process helps to remove lumps and make the milk smoother.
The milk is then left to coagulate under a slow and steady heat for a few hours. The fire is sustained using firewood, and takes several hours to complete.
At the end of this process, the curds are placed into moulds, which would then be pressed into blocks to make fresh white tofu. They are chopped into cubes, ready to be eaten on their own or cooked in stews and soups.
Some of these are also deep-fried in a large wok until they puff up, which becomes what we know as ‘tau fu pok’! It isn’t every day that we get to see how something that tastes delightfully simple is made – only to find out how much sweat and hard work goes into making them.
Related: Must Try Apam Balik in Titi, Jelebu
A Taste You Can’t Forget
We were offered some tofu puff fresh off the wok. On its own it would not have a taste, of course, but a dab of soy sauce was all it took to bring out its goodness. They tasted light, chewy and fresh. The tofu puff also absorbs flavours really well, so they make a mouthwatering addition to stews and soups.
If your order yong tau fu in other Titi restaurants, you’ll most likely be tasting their homemade beancurd.
Being welcomed into the Siow family home and seeing the effort it takes to prepare them was humbling. It made us appreciate how small businesses are keeping these traditions alive for generations, even in a village as small as Titi.
That’s something to think about the next time you enjoy your favourite Yong Tau Fu.
Titi Tau Fu Pok (Tofu Puff / Beancurd Puff)
Address: Titi Market, 71600 Titi, Negeri Sembilan
Opening Times: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
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