Gourmandistanis are certainly not the first tribe to discover the joys of eating Chinese food for Christmas. Nor was this year our first indulgence of our Asian inclinations over the holiday (though we’re pretty sure we’ll avoid a blizzard this year). As per a request from Michelle’s lovely sister, we decided to turn our house into a dim sum parlor for Christmas Day lunch this year.
We scoured local markets, ground pork and shrimp and assembled various doughs and spices over numerous days, freezing or refrigerating many types of dim sum from shao mai to turnip cakes to Macanese salt cod fritters. All that was left to do today was to steam, fry, sauté and throw together a variation of this delicious salad.
It was a smashing success. And many stars were awarded by our happy family, especially for these delicious tofu skin rolls.
Whatever foods you’ve treated yourself to this season, we hope you enjoyed them—though, really, you should think about leaving some room for dim sum next year. Happy Holidays, everyone!
TOFU SKIN ROLLS
(adapted from this recipe on Serious Eats)
- 5 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Peanut or canola oil
- 1 tsp. + 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. + 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 lb. ground pork
- 2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- 1 tsp. sherry
- Tofu skins (we used 4-1/2 x 5” sheets, labeled “soy sheets”)**
- 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned
- Slurry of 1 tsp. cornstarch + 1 TB water for sealing
- 1-1/4 c. chicken stock
- 1 tsp. sherry
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2-3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
Thinly slice mushroom caps. Sauté in a skillet with a bit of oil until lightly browned. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sugar. When cooled, chop half the mushrooms, reserving the other half as slices.
In a medium bowl, mix together ground pork, the chopped mushrooms, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, sesame oil, cornstarch, garlic, ginger and sherry. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Place a tofu sheet on a work surface. Spread a generous tablespoon of pork filling formed into a cylinder shape near the bottom of the sheet, leaving a small space on each side. Arrange some sliced mushrooms and carrot slivers over the pork filling.
Brush the top edge of the sheet with the cornstarch/water slurry. Roll up the skins. It is not necessary to fold in the edges. Repeat with remaining tofu sheets and filling.
Put a film of oil in a nonstick skillet. Fry the rolls in batches, turning until browned on all sides.
Transfer rolls to shallow bowls or dishes that will fit in a steamer. The rolls should be in a single layer.
Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until sauce just begins to thicken.
Pour sauce over rolls. Sprinkle half of the scallions on top and cook in a steamer for about 10 minutes, until meat filling is done.
Top with remaining scallions before serving.
**We’ve had all sorts of trouble finding tofu skin sheets at our local Asian markets. So much so that we tried making them ourselves. However delicious they were, the homemade version was just too delicate to use for this recipe. Finally, we found some in a market’s freezer case. The sheets we used were hydrated (“thoroughly blanched and individually quick frozen” said the friendly folks from Wei-Chuan Food Corporation). If yours are dry, immerse one at a time in water for a minute or so until softened. Then stack, separating each sheet with a paper towel. Or, if you have the giant, dry type (which we’re on the lookout for), see the tips from Attempts in Domesticity.