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Tell me about tofu skin

At dim sum, the tofu skin dish is one of my very favorite dishes. I was watching Chopped, I think, and one of the ingredients was tofu skin, it looked like dried sheets like rice paper sheets, and none of the chefs had any idea what to do with them. What is the best way of preparing them for a dish, and by the way, does anybody have any recipes for them as a wrapper?

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  1. There are fresh and dried ones. Need to rehydrate the latter before using.

    Sometimes we will braise them when making pork butt (or shoulder), in fish head soup, or in a simple stir fry with celery and bean sprouts.

    I don't know that there is such a thing as a "recipe" for using tofu skins as wrappers. You would just use them as you would, say, rice paper.

    1. Vegetarian Duck....( Bean Curd Sheets )

      1. Tofu skin, huh? There are different variations. Many Chinese actually use it in soup, but you can certainly use it as a wrapper as you have mentioned.

        http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3537/4...

        http://thumbs.dreamstime.com/thumblar...

        Look for recipes under the name of "bean curd rolls". Good luck.

        1. Well, I wasn't really looking for recipes, more like how to rehydrate the dried ones and what other people put in them. Thanks- I didn't know you could get them fresh. I will definitely look up bean curd rolls. Those little tofu skin rolls at dim sum are one of my favorites.

          3 Replies
          1. re: EWSflash

            What is the best way of preparing them for a dish, and by the way, does anybody have any recipes for them as a wrapper?
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Well, I wasn't really looking for recipes, ......more like how to rehydrate the dried ones and what other people put in them.
            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            ? .......I'm confused. If the question is simply how do you rehydrate them....the answer is with water or stock.

            1. re: fourunder

              I meant, rather than formal recipes, something like "I fill them with chopped water chestnuts, x, x, x, and x". A rough idea is sufficient, in other words. I also like the sauce they're served in, which almost isn't a sauce at all and I have no idea what goes into it except it's mild flavored, transparent, and probably has a little cornstarch in it (no big surprise there).

            2. re: EWSflash

              <Those little tofu skin rolls at dim sum are one of my favorites.>

              Me too. I am able to make a few dim sum as good as restaurant level, but I have not yet tried my hands on the bean curd rolls.

              In term of the best way to rehydrate the dried ones. I use water for a few hours. You can speed up the hydration process if you use warmer water.

            3. Also look up yuba

              It was a secret ingredient on Japan Iron Chef once.

              I've bought the dried version in two shapes, sheets, and sheets crumpled into sticks. The sheet form could, upon rehydration, be used as a wrapper. The stick form seems to be better as a chewy component of soups.

              1. If you are in the Bay Area, Hodo Soy Beanery makes amazing yuba that you can pick up ion some farmer's markets and some boutique grocery stores, but it is fairly perishable (as opposed to regular tofu) which is why I don't think we see it much outside of densely-populated Asian areas.

                1. First kill your tofu, then skin it...;-)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Billy33

                    I've heard that they're tough little buggers to catch...

                  2. If I remember correctly, you soak it in cold water until soft and pliable, and then use it in your cooking.

                    I think there's a couple of different types - I've used one which is fairly sturdy, and stands up well to being stuffed, as well as more delicate ones.

                    1. In addition to vegetarian duck, tofu skin is good sliced and stir-fried with Chinese garlic chives, preferably the yellow one. Even with the frozen kind, I'll soak it briefly for this application, but not as long as you'd soak the dried kind.

                      There's also 'bai ye', thicker than doufu pi (yuba), usually found fresh. It's often stir-fried with green soybeans and xue cai ("snow vegetable").

                      1. In Vietnamese cuisine, it is filled with minced shrimp and then fried. It fries up golden, crispy and flaky since it's usually done with multiple layers of extremely thin tofu skin. Here's a recipe here:

                        http://www.theravenouscouple.com/2009...

                        1. The only way I've had it is a dish at a fabled Chinese place near me, where they create knots of the skins, and serve them with caramelized bits of pork belly in a bit of dark brown sauce with some black Chinese vinegar.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Karl S

                            The knots (dried) can be purchased already "knotted".

                          2. Ha, ha Billy33 ! Well, well, one can skin a tofu by frying tofu to make wrapper pockets as in Japanese Inarizushi No Moto.
                            For a soy fats and protein skin, one needs to skim rather than skin! Skin is taken from simmering, full fat soy milk before one makes soy bean curds or tofu and so on.
                            Fresh is the most flavorful and the most pliable. If the soy milk skin aka 'Yuba' is very dry, gets old, it can crack up into little pieces. Those too can be re-hydrated, re-molded into any kind of fake meat, depending upon how one lays up a direction of 'grain' and how one flavors it. The very best way to prepare is almost always the very best way you'd want to eat it. Your preference. You already seem to know and enjoy the yuba in dim sum fried wraps.

                            1. I don't have recipes for you, but rehydrating them is as simple as putting them in a bowl with warm to hot water & leaving them for 10-20 minutes or until pliable. I used them in Asian soup & stir-fry dishes.