Tofu is a pretty large part of my diet and I love it in all its forms: fried, soft, firm, silken etc. One type of tofu product I LOVE is tofu skin. If you've ever been to a dim sum restaurant, you may have encountered this food wrapped around vegetables and braised.
Tofu skin is basically the layer of "skin" that forms when making soy milk. When you cook the soy milk, that dry layer appears. You might see a similar layer if you've ever heated up milk for a recipe and then left it to sit. The texture of tofu skin is springy and chewy, which makes it a great vegan protein source, especially if you miss having an animal protein product in your food.
You can find tofu skin in various forms at any Asian grocery store. It comes packaged frozen, dry and fresh. The dry ones need to be soaked before using, but fresh and frozen tofu skin can be cooked as it. If you're having trouble finding it, try looking for it under other names: tofu sticks, bean curd sticks, tofu sheets, bean curd sheets, etc. The tofu skin also comes in different shapes, Sometimes it comes in thin sheets which you can use to make the rolls mentioned earlier. They also come in stick form, or sometimes knotted up.
One of my favorite ways of enjoying tofu skin is in a simple stir fry with bok choy and oyster mushrooms. You can use this recipe as a jumping off point. You don't have to use bok choy or mushroom if you don't have them. Just add some tofu skin in with whatever vegetables you have on hand!
I used frozen tofu skin in this recipe. If you only have the dried version, soak it in some water for an hour or so until it is soft. Then blanch it quickly before following the steps in this recipe.
Tofu skin and bok choy stir fry: Step-by-step instructions
Remove the tofu skin from its package and rinse it. Chop it into smaller bite sized pieces. If you're using dried tofu skin, remember to soak and blanch it, as mentioned earlier.
Wash, drain and trim the bok choy and oyster mushrooms. There's no special way I chop up the mushrooms and bok choy. I just try to make sure all of the vegetables and tofu skin are the same size, so they cook evenly.
Add some oil to a large pan on medium high heat. Throw in the tofu skin and garlic and chili flakes (optional) and cook for about a minute before adding the oyster sauce.
Add the oyster mushrooms and cook for another minute or two before adding the bok choy. Cook through until the bok choy is just tender but still bright green and the white parts are still crisp.
I only use oyster sauce as the sauce for this stir fry. It gives it a delicious savory-sweet flavor. You can add more soy sauce, salt or pepper to taste once the stir fry is cooked.
Tofu Skin and Bok Choy Stir Fry
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1 package frozen tofu skin
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 8 oz oyster mushrooms washed and trimmed
- 1 bunch bok choy washed and trimmed
- Rinse and drain the tofu skin and cut into bite sized pieces. If using dry instead of frozen tofu skin, make sure to soak the tofu skin for about an hour and then blanch it before moving forward.
- Add oil to a large pan on medium high heat. Cook tofu skin and garlic for about a minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add oyster sauce, oyster mushrooms and optional chili flakes. Continue to cook for about another minute or so to let the ingredients soak up the sauce.
- Add the bok choy and cook until it is wilted down. The bok choy should be barely tender and still bright green.
- Season with more oyster sauce or salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve over rice.
- Make sure to plan for an extra hour of soaking time if you're using dried tofu skin.
- For a vegan stir fry, use soy sauce or vegan oyster sauce.