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Tofu Skin

PastaFace123 Nov 6, 2006 09:55 PM

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

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  1. Debbie M RE: PastaFace123 Nov 6, 2006 10:23 PM

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


    1. p
      piccola RE: PastaFace123 Nov 6, 2006 10:43 PM

      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. Silverjay RE: PastaFace123 Nov 7, 2006 01:49 AM

        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. b
          bbc RE: PastaFace123 Nov 7, 2006 01:11 PM

          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
            liu RE: bbc Nov 11, 2006 12:46 AM

            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
              bbc RE: liu Nov 11, 2006 03:39 PM

              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
                liu RE: bbc Nov 14, 2006 12:06 AM

                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
                c oliver RE: liu Feb 19, 2010 10:00 AM

                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
                  liu RE: c oliver Feb 19, 2010 11:54 AM

                  "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. amandine RE: PastaFace123 Nov 8, 2006 12:21 AM

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: amandine
                Debbie M RE: amandine Nov 8, 2006 12:49 AM

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

              2. Tripeler RE: PastaFace123 Nov 8, 2006 04:14 AM

                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
                  paulj RE: Tripeler Nov 9, 2006 02:23 AM

                  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
                    piccola RE: paulj Nov 10, 2006 12:04 PM

                    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
                      paulj RE: piccola Nov 10, 2006 04:11 PM

                      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
                        tatamagouche RE: paulj Apr 16, 2009 10:14 AM

                        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. luckyfatima RE: PastaFace123 Apr 16, 2009 11:33 AM

                  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
                    jadec RE: luckyfatima Apr 16, 2009 11:46 AM

                    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. Sam Fujisaka RE: PastaFace123 Feb 19, 2010 04:33 PM

                    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
                      paulj RE: Sam Fujisaka Feb 19, 2010 06:39 PM

                      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
                        Sam Fujisaka RE: paulj Feb 19, 2010 07:08 PM

                        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.

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