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Tofu Skin

What IS tofu skin, and what is it's application ??? Thx.

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  1. Not exactly the hide of a tofu, though its applications are many and varied. And it's tasty.


    1. Love yuba. It's the "skin" that forms when you boil soymilk, kind of like on a custard. You can use it for tons of stuff - rolls, chips, "noodles"...

      Now if only I could find the nutritional info...

      1. Yuba is one of those Japanese foods that's more known for its texture and consistency, rather than actual taste- which is minimal. Yuba salads, yuba sashimi, or stir "fried" with vegetables are popular dishes. When it's bundled together, it can sometimes take on the consitency of meat, so I've seen it in faux-meat vegatarian dishes, etc. Nutritionally, it's probably the same as tofu, which is about 50% protein. It's not usually served in large quantities though. In Japan at least, it's usually served as an appetizer.

        1. I LOVE this stuff, mostly as it's used to stuff other food (pork etc.) in dim sum (see wikipedia explanation). You may have had it before - most often you see it for something called "xian zhu juan" (fresh bamboo rolls?) which combines diced pork & bamboo shoots rolled in rehydrated tofu skin, a darkish yellow color. It's usually in kind of a goopy sauce though, so doesn't resemble regular tofu.

          I heard it was becoming a really popular addition to menus, yay!

          5 Replies
          1. re: bbc

            bbc - Can you please tell me more about "xian zhu juan." I think this is what I am addicted to at our favorite dim sum place in the Los Angeles area. I think -- if we are referring to the same item -- that they have two different ones: one has vegetables, with mostly wood-ear mushrooms, and the other has pork and shrimp and water chestnuts. Then, there is a sticky sauce over it. Oh, they are so delicious! Is this it?

            1. re: liu

              I haven't had a vegetarian one (love meat), but what you describe sounds exactly like it. Growing up it was my favorite thing at dim sum. Still hard to beat!!

              1. re: bbc

                Yes, I really look forward to them, always! My, how our tastes have changed over the years. I never would have liked this item back when I thought dim sum was mostly about the shrimp dumplings. Now, however, these are top on my list, along with some other new items we have discovered over many years of tasting.

                Thanks! Now I can put a name to these wonderful "wraps!"

              2. re: liu

                OLD thread but I think this is what we had this morning at dim sum at House of Banquet in SF. Is it in a roll that's approx. 2+" long and an inch in diameter? This was a steamed dish with, yeah, a little "gloppy" but not gross sauce. We'd never had it before and adored it. Probably our new favorite dim sum dish. Since my Chinese is limited to dim sum dishes, I'd like to be able to order this in case their English isn't any better :)

                Edit: I just looked at their online menu and there's something called "tofu skin roll in abalone sauce." That's the only one that sounds right.

                1. re: c oliver

                  "tofu skin in abalone sauce" -- that's it, c oliver! I am in Southern California, and our favorite dim sum place calls it this on their English menu.

                  Your description is exactly how I would describe it. To look at it, it does not appear to be something that would appeal to me. However, it sure is delicious! I prefer the vegetable version just slightly more than the one with pork, but they are both good...and it is sometimes difficult to know which one you are getting if it comes off the cart. Of course, if you order it, then you can request your preferred dish.

            2. Is tofu skin what makes the little pouch for rice (called "inari")?

              1 Reply
              1. re: amandine

                Inarizushi uses aburage, which I believe is a piece of thinly sliced tofu that's been deep-fried.

              2. I once translated a Japanese menu into English for a place in my neighborhood.
                I translated "yuba" as "tofu skin" and got all kinds of complaints from one American woman.
                She had a point, but "tofu skin" was simple, elegant and understandable.
                I would like to call it "soy milk skin" which would be more accurate, but generally baffling.
                Let's hope the word "yuba" will become as commonplace as "tofu."

                4 Replies
                1. re: Tripeler

                  Abura-age is another item that could be called 'tofu skin'.

                  Is there a name for the skin that forms on the top of hot milk or cocoa? Yuba is essentially the same thing.


                  1. re: paulj

                    I think abura-age is called "tofu pouches" because it's hollowed-out cubes of deep-fried tofu (as opposed to a sheet of soymilk film).

                    1. re: piccola

                      From what I read, a number of yuba sheets can be taken off the surface of the soymilk. I wonder, though, if the remaining milk can still be made into tofu, or has the yuba removed too much of the necessary proteins.


                      1. re: paulj

                        Reviving an old thread to ask: had some in maki the other day (I know, I know, you sushi purists—I think you've really freaked me out), and it was mostly just a little sweet-and-salty—I take it that's purely seasoning, nothing to do with its natural flavor?

                2. The dim sum place near my house serves a dish of tofu skin stuffed with shell fish. Very lovely. It seems to be deep fried.

                  I have seen tofu skin at the grocery but I am not sure how to use it. Soak in water? Use like a rice paper? Help me out, please.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    The dried ones need to be soaked in water. Soaking time depends on thickness. Stirfried or put in soup or stews is how we usually cook this at home. We leave deep frying to restaurants :-)

                  2. That “tofu skin” is traditional Japanese abura-age, used for making inarizushi, one of my favorite and most commonly made at home sushi. Inarizushi rice is seasoned and finely diced cooked vegetables (carrot, green bean, others) and Japanese omelette are added. You can get abura-age in jars in a Japanese food store or make them yourself. A little experimentation deep frying tofu et voila. If you deep fry tofu, it will be open naturally in the middle (imagine pita bread). You fill and steam for Chinese dim sum.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                      Isn't this type of tofu pouch made by deep frying thin slices of tofu? This produces fried tofu that is all 'skin', with little of the inside.

                      That's different from yuba, which is a thin layer that is skimmed off the top of heated soy milk. Yuba is often sold as thin dry sheets or bundles.

                      1. re: paulj

                        Exactly. I was talking about abura-age.

                        I wasn't thinking about yuba, which may well be the OP's interest. Yuba is used in clear soups, our common simmered dishes, and in upscale kaiseki.