random musings

June 29, 2010

Bean curd rolls

I made Bean Curd Rolls this weekend. Bean curd rolls are a dim sum dish, where ever so thin layers of soy are wrapped around a filling. The rolls are (traditionally) fried and steamed.

Recipe from here

First, cut up the ingredients

Make a sauce

Fry the meat in a little oil + the sauce. If I were making this again, I'd definitely marinate the meat a few hours to overnight (and sub ginger for the bamboo). While the recipe doesn't say anything about organizing the workflow, after cooking the filling is a good time to stick everything in the fridge. For these first few steps, a good timing would be to do the prep cutting while you're making dinner the day before service, stick everything in the fridge. Then, depending on whether you're a morning or evening person cook the filling before bed or the next morning and stick the filling back in the fridge. Hands on time (including cleanup) at each step should be about 15 minutes. Easy peasy.

The next day, soak the bean curd sheets in water

And wrap your filling. Here's a pile ready to be cooked. These could also be refrigerated a few hours (overnight?) before cooking. The wrapping stage is the most time-consuming. Still, it only took ~1 hr to wrap all the bean curd up, and I suspect with practice hand-on time at this stage could be reduced to 1/2 hour.

Another improvement (or maybe I didn't read clearly) is to soak the sheets in warm water. Should feel lukewarm to the touch. It takes ~1 min for the sheets to soften, and as tempting as it is, don't soak more than 2 sheets at a time.

The original recipe says to pan-fry, but I was trying to be healthier, so I skipped that step. 6-7 min in the steamer seemed to be just fine. It's very important to steam in a bowl, to catch the tasty juices.

Okay mine aren't uber pretty. But they are fairly neat intact packages of yumminess. And, after realizing how easy they are to make at home, I don't think I'll order these in the restaurant again.

Also, this is cheap food! A package of bean curd sheets is < $2, and you only use 4 oz of meat (1 small pork chop, < $1.50).  

I had the soy sauce, sugar, wine and wood ear mushrooms on hand. If you have to buy all of these ingredients, that would add $15 to the grocery bill, but you would use only ~$2 worth. So maybe total cost of $4-5 for ten large rolls. In a restaurant, this dish typically runs $3-4 for three half-sized rolls. Plus the filling is not of as high-quality ingredients.

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