This is dried soya bean sticks or what we call in Hokkien, teik gah kee. It used to be the poor man’s routine meal. If I am not mistaken, these are the residue found afloat after boiling soyabean to make drinks and/or tofu. They just take these layer of soya bean and sort of hang it like we hang laundry to dry. OK, that was what my mom told me when I was small. I believe nowadays, when soya bean is touted to be health food, they probably use some modern method to produce these.
There are two types. One variety has been deep fried and is suitable for putting into more flavourful soups like the bak kut teh. This one which is paler in colour is best use in cooking clear soup. What you need to do is to boil a decent pot of soup, soak this in water to soften and add in the bean sticks when the soup is almost ready. Do not boil for too long or else you will end up with soya bean drink instead. 😛
I used garlic, pork ribs and a few red dates to boil the soup. Seen above is a bowl of soup which is full of protein. This is good to be given to small kids too because most of them like the flavour of the soyabean stick. Usually, I chopped carrots into tiny pieces and add them into the soup when my children were much smaller.
Indonesians who prepare nasi padang also like to use soyabean sticks in their cooking. They usually make a big pot of it with soohoon (tunghoon/mungbean noodle), eggs and carrots.
Sometimes, the most comforting food is the simplest to prepare like this bowl of soyabean stick soup.