My love for dim sum is timeless and unconditional. And I know that you already know that, because every time I talk about Chinese cuisine, I begin and end with dim sum. But you can’t blame me for that because they are like the greatest gift to humankind, and I sincerely believe that. When I order dim sum, my friends wonder how can so much food can be eaten by such a tiny person (I’m not that tiny, by the way). I even hide dim sum from my husband. And at all times, you can find a Tupperware with me which I keep for emergency leftovers. And surprisingly, I find all these habits of mine incredibly normal.
START OF SOMETHING NEW – FU TSE JUAN
The best food in dim sum for me is undoubtedly bean curd rolls, or tofu skin rolls, or fu tse juan. And something about this liking is ironic because you see, the prime ingredient in these rolls is a mushroom, something which I despise from as far back as I can remember. And I had no idea at first that they’re gonna have mushroom since they’re called bean curd rolls. I only tried them because of Ariel, who loves and knows about dim sum more than me (which is a very big deal), assured me that I would love them. And I did.
And it was later then I finally figured out the entire confusion regarding mushrooms (thanks to Ariel, of course). The problem is with the term ‘bean curd rolls’. Like every normal amateur, I imagined that the rolls would have a stuffing of bean rolls because you know, that’s what they’re called. But I was wrong. Ariel explained that the rolls are actually made of pressed tofu, and bean curd roll is just a layman’s term. How crazy is that!?
But I loved the fact how magically I fell in love them like John Green would say, “Slowly, then all at once.” To me, my love for these rolls is no less than a super romantic love story. Even though the rolls at first may not seem very appealing, like a crimped dumpling or steamed shu mei, but these little things are all you need to bring happiness in your life. Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little, but they seriously have a dreamy touch in them which makes everything look good. And I think that is the best part.
THE DAY I MADE MY OWN TOFU SKIN ROLLS
So, since I was so fascinated by these rolls, I got almost obsessed and spent an unbelievable amount of time (ONE YEAR) looking for some easy home-made recipes for it. Because I couldn’t help but developed a wish that I want to cook my own tofu skin rolls. Finally, I found a perfect recipe from one of the blogs I was following. And that’s it, me and my almost soul-mate, DB invested an entire day in the cooking for these rolls.
Just for the record, the final product wasn’t really bean curd rolls, in fact, they were not any rolls. So we decided to give them a new name, and thus that’s how we invented a new dim sum dish.
Ladies and gentlemen, we give you, Bean Curd Skins.
INGREDIENTS AND RECIPE
So the first thing was shopping. Since the Chinese cuisine has a unique set of ingredients, most of them weren’t at my home, so DB and I had to go to H-Mart. It took us a little while, but we found the tofu skins. And they were surprisingly huge, I almost got scared of them.
The other ingredients were –
· Bamboo shoots
· Bean curds
All of these were pretty easy to find. Although pork got me little confused because the blogger didn’t specifically mentioned which one. So, I made a judgment call and picked the tenderloin. I must admit, it was some pretty great judgment. Also, since we aren’t big fans of mushroom, we decided to add shiitakes instead. And even that turned out to be pretty awesome.
So here we were with the final ingredients and thus we began this great extravaganza.
Following are the steps to make a perfect bean curd skins.
- Slice up all the vegetables.
- Mix the meat with some soy, wine, and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Add the vegetables in the mixture and pour some salt on it.
- You can also add chili oil and pepper to taste.
- We took some risk and added garlic, green onion, and ginger. It was a smart risk, though.
- Coming to the wrap gently cut the skin into strips in a rectangular shape.
- Soak the strips in hot water for approximate 2 seconds.
- Wrap it up!
- Once wrapped, fry them a little in hot oil over medium heat.
- The steaming can be tricky (or maybe it was just for me because I was a little drunk). Just steam them on a solid non-perforated bowl.
- As the water starts boiling, you can pour soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and sugar on it.
- Cover it up for some 5-10 minutes.
- Take them out and plate them.
- Savage every bite as you eat them.I sincerely believe that these rolls were one of my greatest accomplishments ever. Ariel gave them a big thumbs up which made them even more special. And I think it’s good that I made them so perfectly because you see, I have some wrappers still left.