Yu Fu (Fish Cakes 鱼腐)
What is it?
Yu fu is a specialty that originates from Shunde in Guangdong Province. First, fresh fish is pounded until it reaches a starchy consistency. Then it is mixed with salt, pepper and cornstarch before being combined with egg white that has been beaten into a meringue-like texture. The fish paste is moulded into an oval shape before being deep-fried in oil.
The source of the name yu fu (yu meaning fish) is that the Shunde delicacy is soft like tofu but the taste is unlike more traditional fish balls.
Why is it famous?
While Guangdong cuisine is often minimalist in terms of flavouring and preparation, food from Shunde is known for its more liberal use of ingredients including sun dried tangerine peel as well as dates, resulting in simple but powerful flavours.
Shunde – one of UNESCO’s gourmet capitals ( it was the second city to get the title in China after Chengdu in Sichuan province) – was part of the seabed before tectonic forces first moved it up and then allowed it to subside into wetlands. Those who eventually moved to Shunde later started digging ponds for fish, piling the excavated soil to create a little causeway on which they started planting mulberry trees for silkworms. Over the years, Shunde, where developer Country Garden is headquartered, became the capital for the silk farming industry. Its cuisine has also evolved. Thanks to its affluence, its cuisine features ample local fresh ingredients like seafood, meat and dairy (from native water buffalos).
Where to eat it?
Check out the most famous seafood restaurant in Shunde, which serves a fish soup made of yu fu and Chinese luffa: Feng Chu Shunde Kitchen, 88 Jinlong Road, Daliang District, Shunde, Foshan; Tel: 86-757-2221-9595.
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