Yuba, or tofu skin, is incredibly common in Asian cuisine, but is only starting to make its way into American kitchens. I first read about it here, however, pre seasoned foodies have known about this stuff for years. It's an incredible vegan meat substitute that is just as flexible in its culinary uses as it is delicious.
On my last trip to the local Asian market I picked up some yuba from a vast selection available in the store’s freezer section (and I bet you’ll be able to find some at your local Asian market too). One of the packages was three feet long! I opted for the small package, and the 4 sheets still ended up being 2 feet across when unrolled. For $2.00 USD, this was a steal, as I can easily make 10 family sized meals of prepared yuba from this amount.
When first unwrapped, they resemble plastic sheeting that has been folded over onto itself several times. You'll need to soak it in warm water for 15 seconds, drain the water, and then separate the sheets.
Then, you carefully take one sheet (again, mine were about 24 inches across) and fold it in half, or thirds, and roll it up tightly making a tube approximately 8-10 inches long. Roll about 6 sheets of yuba.
Once they are all rolled up, pan fry them in a well seasoned cast iron or non stick pan with about 1 tablespoon 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.
- 6 to 8 sheets prepared and fried yuba (see above)
- 1 1/2 cubes of veggie bouillon: beef flavored, chicken flavored or straight up vegetable
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 green onions, sliced into small pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 tbsp organic granulated sugar
- 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- juice and zest of one medium-sized orange
Stir together bouillon cubes and boiling water until completely dissolved. Whisk in all other sauce ingredients until well combined. Cut the yuba rolls into small sections, about 1 inch long.
Follow directions for cooking yuba with sauce.
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.
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 or Sriracha.