A while back I learned about yuba, or tofu skin. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically the film that coagulates on the top of a boiled pan of soymilk.
But here’s the thing… this stuff is really good, but in kind of a strange way.
You see, I finally tried it, and it turns out that I love this stuff. I can imagine doing so much with it. Yuba is my friend!
With that said, I can see how it might be an acquired… um, texture to get used to. Pre-fried it looks a lot like a deflated balloon. It also has sort of a funny smell when you cook it the first time through (hey, just being honest). But, other than that…it’s great! It has a peculiar chewy and crispy texture when pan fried. It can also be used in a variety of other ways: as a dumpling wrap, vegan sausage casing, or just eatin’ fresh with some simple seasoning. Just like tofu, it soaks up any and every flavor you let it. And if you buy the dried, frozen or fresh varieties, it is super easy to prepare. Like, easier than tofu. For serious!
Now are you more interested? I hope so.
This stuff is incredibly common in Asian cuisine, but is just starting to make its way into the kitchens of the good ol’ US of A. I read about it first here.
And then again I was reminded once again when I came across this post here. Of course, seasoned foodies have known about this stuff for years.
Since I spend about two hours a month scouring our local Asian superstore, I have had many an opportunity to pick some of this stuff up. But, I always forgot. On our last trip though, my husband (the genius of our operation) reminded me that I needed to get some yuba. Asap. Happily there was plenty available in the store’s freezer section (and I bet you’ll be able to find some at your local Asian market too, if you have one nearby)… one of the packages was three feet long! We opted for the small package, and the 4 sheets still ended up being 2 feet across when unrolled. For two bucks, this is a steal!
When unwrapped, they look like this still folded:
And then after you soak it in warm water for just a few seconds (seriously… maybe 15 seconds), drain the water and separate the sheets, it looks like this:
Kinda weird, I admit; stay with me here.
Then, you carefully take one sheet (again, mine were about 24″ in diameter) and fold it in half, or thirds, and roll it up tightly making a tube approximately 8-10″ long. Once they are all rolled up, pan fry them in a well seasoned cast iron or non stick pan wth about 1 tbsp canola oil over medium to medium-high heat. Fry until golden brown on each side, flipping as necessary. This will make them nice and sturdy to cook in the sauce.
Next, make your sauce by gathering all sauce ingredients and following the simple instructions below *.
Place cut yuba rolls into the same pan you browned them in and pour sauce over to coat. There will be a good bit of extra liquid; this is okay! Let them cook on medium heat until sauce thickens and all the liquid pretty much disappears, flipping yuba rolls halfway through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
That’s it! Serve on top of rice, mixed in with veggies, or whatever you fancy. I loved these on top of a bed of greens and brown sushi rice, and then topped with a big drizzle of homemade garlic chili sauce–Sriracha would be perfect here (I loved it so), but it hurts my belly.