Yuba is a thin skin of tofu that is a byproduct of making soymilk. It is pulled in sheets off the top of the pot of boiling soymilk, much like the skin that forms on a pot of simmering cow’s milk. It can be made at home, but I’ve never tried. I buy mine from Northwest Tofu. You can also find it in dried form at a good Asian grocery, in which case it can be rehydrated and should work fine in this recipe (but I haven’t tried it).
I got the idea for these rolls from (the wonderful) Ba Bar, where chef Eric Banh serves a version of them on top of a vegetarian bun (Vietnamese rice vermicelli). I love the contrast of the crispy skin with the soft filling of tofu and vegetables. Be sure to squeeze as much water as possible out of the tofu for the filling so that the skin stays crisp as long as possible.
I serve these with a simple dipping sauce made with soy, black vinegar and sesame oil, but you could also try a peanut sauce.
Crispy Yuba (Tofu Skin) Rolls
Vegetarian, vegan, and kosher
Makes 8 rolls, enough for 4 appetizer portions
For the dipping sauce:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon black vinegar or rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Whisk together all ingredients, taste and adjust seasoning, and reserve.
For the rolls:
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
- Big handful finely julienned carrot
- 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon kochujang mixed with 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 8 pieces fresh yuba (tofu skin), approximately 5 x 7 inches
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- In a medium bowl, mash the tofu with a fork. Wrap it in a clean dish towel and squeeze to extract as much water as possible. Return the tofu to the bowl and mix in the carrot, scallion, ginger, garlic, salt, and kochujang/soy sauce mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning. You might like it spicier and it may need more salt.
- Lay out one square of yuba. Place 1/8th of the filling (about 2 tablespoons) along a short edge, leaving a bit of space at either side. Tuck in the sides then roll up like a burrito, keeping it as tight as possible. Repeat for the remaining rolls.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil. When it is shimmering, add the rolls and fry until dark golden brown on one side. Flip and cook the other side. Remove to paper towels. Serve immediately, with the dipping sauce.