Tofu skin is pretty much tasteless on its own. But, I love its chewy and firm-jelly-like texture. It is used a lot in Chinese vegetarian dishes. Some cooks like to deep-fry tofu skins before using them in stir-fries. Personally, I prefer to use rehydrated tofu skins as they are. Deep frying is just too much hassle.
Tofu skin is quite wholesome. It contains more potassium per 100g than banana and it is low in fat, less than 4%, most of which are polyunsaturated fats (FSANZ, 2010). Its fat content will be significantly increased if it is deep-fried before use, which holds true for all other foods, really.
Tofu skin dishes are more synonymous with home cooking than popular restaurant foods. However, tofu skin salad is becoming a bit more common in Chinese restaurants, especially those that serve Taiwanese and home-style Chinese foods. There are many different versions. In some versions, the tofu skin is simply dressed with a soy and sesame oil dressing. My version of tofu skin salad is a bit ‘busier’, but very refreshing to eat and easy to prepare nevertheless.
• FSANZ (2010) NUTTAB 2010 Online Searchable Database <http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/nuttab2010/nuttab2010onlinesearchabledatabase/onlineversion.cfm?&action=default>
Tofu Skin Salad
Inspired by a recipe in Chinese Home Style Treats by Li Mei-xien (1997)
Serves 4-6 as an appetiser
100 g/3.5 oz (±4 sticks) bean curd stick
1 medium carrot, grated
1-2 coriander, chopped
1 stalk spring onion, sliced
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sunflower/canola/peanut oil
½ tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp iodised salt
1 tsp sugar
White pepper to taste
Snap the bean curd sticks into smaller sections. Soak bean curd sticks in hot water for 30-45 minutes or cold water for a few hours. Drain. Leave to cool. Combine the dressing ingredients and mix well. Combine everything in a large bowl. Toss to mix. Chill for at least ½ hour before serving.
© 2012 Lusiana Njo