My husband hasn’t been traveling at all for work these days, so I’m back to my old habits. I often attempt a similar meal to his, even though he’s a vegetarian. That way we can “share the meal” and we can give each other feedback about the food. Last night, I made turkey rolls that I wrapped in carrots. My vegetarian substitute is dried bean curd. So what is dried bean curd, you may ask? Contrary to what you might think, it’s not made directly from tofu; it’s a more pressed version of soybeans and is usually smoked; it contains 40% less liquid than standard firm tofu. It’s packed with protein, super healthy, yet still flavorful and it’s a great meat substitute.
I prepared the filling of the rolls with the dried bean curd, fresh wood ear mushrooms, onions that we grow in our garden and Japanese sweet potatoes for natural sweetness. Remember, you eat with your eyes first! So I enhanced its look by wrapping the rolls in carrot to give them a fancy flair. You’ll be surprised; it’s not that complicated to make a dish look a bit more appealing.
1. Info for Carrot Bean Curd Rolls
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 8
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Carrot Bean Curd Rolls
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 1½ cups fresh wood ear mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 1 large Japanese sweet potato, steamed, peeled and mashed
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- ⅓ cup green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the carrot:
- Trim the carrot on both ends. Cut the carrots lengthwise into thin long strips. Boil for about 3-4 minutes until softened. Transfer to an ice bath, then pat dry with paper towels before rolling.
- Preparing the filling:
- Heat a large, non-stick pan with the oil. Once the oil is hot, fry the shallots. Set aside, then add the onions. Once fragrant, add the garlic. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, then transfer to a plate, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
- To a lightly-oiled bowl of a food processor, add the chopped bean curd and the sweet potato. Coarsely blend until a thick paste is formed. Season with red chili powder, salt and pepper. Add the grated ginger and fried shallots and pulse 3-4 times. Transfer the paste into a bowl. Add the mushrooms and mix until well combined.
- Forming the carrot rolls:
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Cover with the sliced carrots. Place half the dried bean curd mixture in the center, forming a log across the carrot sheet. Press gently with both hands to ensure the carrot adheres to the roll and is spread out evenly. Roll using the plastic wrap as a guide.
- Repeat the same procedure and form a second roll.
- Pan-frying the bean curd rolls: Re-heat the pan with the oil. Once the oil is hot, carefully remove the plastic wrap and slide the carrot roll, seam down into the hot pan. Place the other roll. Make sure to space them apart so they don’t touch each other. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook until lightly golden. Add about ½ cup warm water, cover with a lid and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 4-5 minutes.
- Dip a very sharp kitchen knife in hot water, then wipe it clean. Cut the carrot roll in half, then cut each half in half one more time to make 4 pieces. Repeat the same procedure with the other roll, wiping the knife clean after slicing each roll.
- Serve immediately or at room temperature with bowls of brown jasmine rice drizzled with soy sauce.
- Bon appétit!
4. Tips and advices:
- You can find bean curd in most Asian markets. It’s also called tofu cake or dried tofu. It’s sold in 2 separate vaccum-sealed, 10-ounce, rectangular packages. You can also eat it straight out the package; it’s very tasty.
- A Japanese sweet potato has a gorgeous yellow flesh, once it’s cooked. It adds a similar look to meat once it’s blended with the dried bean curd.
- The wood ear mushrooms give a contrast in texture to the rest of the softer ingredients.