Tofu skin, also known as beancurd skin, beancurd sheet, or beancurd robes, is a soybean-based culinary product.
When boiling soy milk in an open shallow pan, a film or skin forms on the liquid surface, made mostly of a soy protein-lipid combination. The films are gathered and dried into fuchuk, which looks like yellowish sheets.
Tofu skin is not technically tofu because it is not made with a coagulant; yet, it has a texture and flavour that is similar to certain tofu products.
In the sixteenth century, people in China, Korea, and Japan started to consume fuchuk. Today, it’s commonly used in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisine, whether fresh, fermented, or dried.
Bunching the fuchuk produces dried tofu skin in the form of a stick, known as Yuba. Yuba is frequently used as a meat substitute (particularly chicken), which is why it’s also referred to as tofu chicken.
Tofu sticks, like dry fuchuk sheets, must be rehydrated before cooking. One popular method of preparing tofu sticks is to cut them into bite-size pieces after rehydrating and braising in sauce.
This allows them to absorb the flavours of the spices and seasonings in the sauce—a similar process in which real tofu absorbs the flavours of the ingredients it comes into contact with during cooking.
Like tofu, Yuba is also made from soybeans. A film forms on the surface of soy milk as it boils.
Fresh Yuba resembles thinly sliced tofu, but due to the aggregation of soy proteins that make up this unique ingredient, it is denser and has a bouncy ball quality.
The congealed top of simmering soy milk is traditionally plucked off with a long, big stick and hung to dry to form Yuba.
This could happen several times in a single vat of heating soy milk, a byproduct of tofu production. And that’s the reason why it is called ‘tofu skin’.
Most often than not, fresh tofu skin is available frozen. It can usually be bought from a vegetarian food shop.
Fresh tofu skin is perfect for those who wish to explore other protein sources other than meat.
Preparation is simple and straightforward. There is no need to rehydrate. Simply chop and cook.
Here’s the simplest way to make and eat it.
Sweet and warm desert to warm your heart for the day
EB Kyoto Yuba
50 g Pearl Barley
100 g Ginkgo Nut Flesh
100 g Rock Sugar or to your taste
2 Eggs (Beaten)
3 Pandan Leaves (Knotted)
10 cups Water
Deshell ginkgo and peel the outer membrane.
Cut the ginkgo nuts into half and remove the inner seed. Wash with clean water, strain, and set aside.
Rinse the barley in several changes of water. Discard the water. Soak the barley in warm water for 1 hour.
Wash pandan leaf under running water to remove any dirt. Tie into a knot.
Put the ginkgo nuts in a saucepan. Cover with some water, about one inch above the nuts.
Bring water to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes.
Drain off water and crack the shells and peel. Split the ginkgo nuts in half and remove the bitter cores
Bring 10 cups of water to a boil.
Add pandan leaves, pearl barley and ginkgo nuts and cook for about 30 minutes or until they are soft.
Discard the pandan leaves. Add EB Kyoto Yuba and rock sugar and continue to cook until the sugar dissolves. Have a taste and add more sugar to your preference if needed.
Beat 2 eggs with a fork and then slowly drizzle into the soup while stirring at the same time. Turn off the heat. Serve warm or chill in the fridge before serving.