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The soy bean has sometimes been called "poor man's cow" in China as, like all beans, it is rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and valuable minerals.
The remarkable bean has an enormously wide range of by-products, ranging from soy sauces through to dried bean curd, which is available in sheets, sticks or twists.
This recipe uses dried bean curd sheets as a wrapping for an interesting vegetarian filling, to form an unusual hors d'oeuvre or appetizer.
- 1 1/2 ounces Chinese dried mushrooms (available at Chinese stores), soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, rinsed, stems discarded and caps shredded
- 1 small carrot, cut into fine julienne
- 1 small celery stalk, cut into fine julienne
- For Seasonings:
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
- Good pinch of white pepper
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water, for thickening
- 1/4 cup peanut oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pound bean sprouts
- 2 sheets tofu skin (fu pei) (Malaysian brand, available at Chinese stores)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water to make a paste for sealing the edges of the tofu skins
- Worcestershire sauce
- Parsley, for garnish
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Blanch the mushrooms, carrots, and celery for 1 minute. Drain and set aside. Mix all of the seasonings ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a wok until moderately hot. Stir-fry the onion slices for 20 seconds. Add the bean sprouts and the blanched ingredients and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour the seasonings mixture slowly into the center of the wok, stirring until the mixture thickens. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, spread out the tofu skins on a work surface. Cut each skin into 4 rectangles. Dampen the skins with a little water and cover with a damp cloth.
Evenly divide the vegetable mixture into 8 portions. Spoon 1 portion of the vegetable mixture onto each tofu rectangle, fold a corner over to firmly encase the filling and tuck the corner underneath. Fold in both ends of the wrapping skin, as if wrapping a parcel, and roll up to resemble a filled pancake. Spread a little of the cornstarch paste on the edges and press firmly. Repeat with the remaining wrapper skins.
Heat the Peanut oil in a flat skillet (frying pan) until moderately hot. Reduce the heat a little and pan-fry each tofu roll on each side until crispy and golden brown.
Diagonally slice each roll into 1-inch pieces. Serve with Worcestershire sauce. Garnish with sprigs of parsley.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
151 calories; 10g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 419mg sodium; 13g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 3g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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