I am so intrigued by this dish and have been trying to research it. Seems like it is a regional dish from SF. Does anyone know its history or if it is a modification of an already existing dish? It looks like there’s different renditions - a duck soup and an egg drop soup sometimes with seafood / char siu / chicken.
What does its name mean? A search of “yee foo” mostly comes up as noodles. Is it related to yee-fu, e-fu, yi fu noodles?
From Melanie Wong:
“Yee fu won ton has been a must for every order the stock is very good and the plump won ton dumplings pinched in purse-style are freshly fried and will stay partially crunchy in the broth. Theyre generously filled with juicy ground pork. Lee Hou makes two kinds: Hung tao yee fu won ton ($5) made with beaten egg whites, copious amounts of cilantro leaves and small cubes of char siu and Virginia ham; and Op gung yee fu won ton ($6) made with roast duck and rich duck broth. I favor the deeper flavors of the duck version, but my mother seems to be addicted to the fragrant and lighter hung tao. When our relatives took her to lunch here, I think she liked being about to recommend the hung tao yee fu won ton with authority.”
Yee Fu is a term used when a item is deep fried prior to be cooked again normally in soup. Uncooked won ton or noodles are deep fried before being cooked in broth. My favorite is Duck Soup won ton. The now closed Four Sea did a great one. Now there is only Hung Tao Yee Fu now where you can find it.
The two restaurants mentioned in these threads, Golden Peacock and Golden Horse were mentioned in threads about Yee Fu Won Ton from the prior decade on the predecessor board, which also mentioned several other area restaurants having the dish. So those restaurants should be checked to see if they’re still around, and if so, if they still have the dish.
Thank you. I found some other restaurants that might also serve the dish. I’m mostly curious to the history or background of the dish. I’m curious as to whether there are/were fried won tons in China and if there exists fried won tons braised in soup.
I find it interesting that this dish is almost exclusively SF Chinatown (with some spread to Oakland and down to Daly City) but I can’t find it anywhere in Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Fremont, San Jose…anywhere south of Daly City.
This dish dates back to a time when the only Chinese in the US were Toishanese/Cantonese, and would only be expected to be found in areas with that demographic. Indeed, Los Angeles Chinatown (like all historic Chinatowns in the US) was Toshanese/Cantonese but I don’t think this dish ever made it to LA, certainly not within my memory going back a few decades.
Fried wontons are a popular street food in Shanghai, but they are pan fried rather than deep fried. I’ve certainly not seen them in soups, especially in Shanghai with its own proud wonton soup traditions.