Tofu Skin Roll (Yuba) also known as ‘腐皮卷’ (Fǔ pí juǎn) in Mandarin or ‘Fu Pei Guen’ in Cantonese, is packed with crunchy vegetables and braised in a savory broth which makes it the perfect cold or hot dish for any meal.
Why I love Tofu Skin Roll
I am a big fan of tofu products, be it tofu, tofu skin, tofu puffs, or tofu curds, they are all my favorite. Fried tofu skin or Fu Juk is perfect in soup, stir-fries, or as an added protein to any dish such as this Tofu Skin Roll which is similar to the Shanghainese Beancurd Roll.
Often served as an appetizer, it’s tofu skin filled with various vegetables such as carrots and bamboo shoots. It’s supposed to represent a Shanghai goose dish, which is why it’s sometimes called “Vegetarian Goose dish”.
There are some smaller versions of this that are normally served at dim sum places with various fillings such as jicama. Now, let’s see how to make this at home with the steps below. This dish was inspired by Tzu Zhi.
How to make Tofu Skin Roll (Yuba)
Gather all the ingredients and prep the vegetables and mushrooms. If you are using frozen tofu skin, let it ‘soften’ to room temperature but be sure to cover it.
Sauté mushroom slices in oil until aromatic.
Then, add in the carrot, celery, and continue to sauté for another minute or until the carrot starts to soften. Add in the julienned cabbage and season while stirring continuously. Once the cabbage starts to wilt a little, turn off the heat and transfer them to a bowl and let it cool off.
Before assembling the roll, prepare a flour mixture by mixing flour or cornstarch in water to create a thick spreadable paste. This paste will act as a glue to seal the edges off and keep the filling intact within the tofu skin.
Some Tofu skin packages come in a half-moon shape while others are in full circular-round shape. So for the half-moon shape, I used four of them and if it’s circular round one, I would use two sheets.
Assemble the Tofu Skin Roll
On a cleaned chopping board, stack two half-moon shape tofu skin to make a round circle. Then, place another sheet in the middle to create a thicker layer. Glue each opening with the flour mixture.
Place the filling mixture towards the top of the sheet and roll into a spring roll.
Then bring the sides of the sheet in and fold it into a large enclosed log while sealing all openings with the ‘glue’.
Place this log on another layer of tofu skin and fold it for the second time. This second layer is to create a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside soft and crunchy.
Using a fork or cake tester, poke a few holes to release air so it won’t puff up too much when frying.
To fry the tofu skin roll, place enough oil in a pan and fry it until golden brown, then set aside. The oil temperature should be about 300°F- 320°F (150°C-160°C).
I used the ‘chopstick oil testing’ method where I placed the tapered end of a wooden chopstick into the oil. If small bubbles begin to form, then it’s ready to fry the tofu skin.
Meanwhile, prepare the braise mixture by heating a non-stick pan with a drizzle of oil. Sauté ginger until fragrant and slowly add in the water or vegetable stock and add in the cinnamon stick and star anise. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and season with soy sauce with a touch of sugar.
Once the sugar has melted, turn down the heat to medium and carefully place the tofu skin roll into the pan and cook each side for 5 minutes.
The outer skin will start to wrinkle and turn softer. Transfer the tofu skin roll onto a cleaned chopping board and let it cool. Slice into your desired size and place them on a serving plate.
To make the sauce, thicken the remaining broth with cornstarch slurry and slather on top of the tofu skin roll.
Tofu Skin Roll (Yuba) Cooking Tips
Yuba or Tofu Skin is the main ingredient for this dish. These are available at many Asian grocery stores and come in dried or frozen form. I prefer to use frozen fresh ones as they are softer. For the dried ones, you’ll need to soak them in water to soften it. A quick tip: add a little baking soda in the water to help soften the dried tofu skin.
Frozen tofu skin is normally thinner and softer than dried ones. So to prep this, let it come to room temperature before handling it. But be sure to cover it as they can dry up quickly. However, if the tofu skin appears to be too fragile or dry, dab the surface with a damp paper towel.
Filling ingredients are flexible, so use your favorite leafy greens or other accompaniment here.
Fry then braise, WHY? The tofu skin is fried to golden to create a crispy layer. This step will bring out the tofu skin’s aroma which also turns it into a perfect absorber.
Then, the roll is slowly simmered in a flavorful broth. The skin will expand and absorb the sauce which will then soften it while being seasoned. The broth will also soften the crispy outer layer and season it at the same time. This two-fold method is one of the best ways to cook the tofu skin to bring out the maximum flavor of this dish.
This Tofu Skin Roll (Yuba) is
- Easily customizable
- Quick and Easy
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Tofu Skin Roll ‘腐皮卷’
- 2 full sheets or 4 half sheets of Tofu skin (Yuba) used frozen
- 250 g of cabbage julienned
- 1 stalk celery cut into matchstick
- 1 small carrot shredded
- ¼ cup sliced Shiitake mushrooms used dried mushrooms
- oil for cooking
- 1½ tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sugar optional
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- a drizzle of sesame oil
Broth and Sauce
- 4 slices of ginger
- 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 star anise
- Other Ingredients
- Flour paste see notes
- Cornstarch slurry
- Gather and prepare all the ingredients.
- To make the filling, heat a non-stick pan with ½ tablespoons oil and sauté mushrooms until aromatic.
- Then, continue to sauté carrots and celery until carrots turn softer. Add in the cabbage and toss until well-combined. Season accordingly and transfer to a bowl to cool.
How to assemble and cook the Tofu Skin Roll
- Lay 2 half-moon shape tofu skin on a cleaned chopping board to make a round circle. (Skip this step if you have a full circle sheet)
- Then, add another half-moon shape tofu skin in the middle to connect both sheets together. Glue all the openings with the flour paste.
- Place the filling at the top of the sheet (the side closer to you), and bring the sides to the middle, then roll it into an enclosed log.
- Transfer the log onto another half-moon tofu skin and roll it up again. Poke a few holes on each side of the roll with a cake tester or fork.
- To fry the tofu skin roll, place enough oil in a shallow pan, and fry it until golden brown then set aside. The oil temperature should be about 300°F- 320°F (150°C-160°C). Transfer cooked tofu skin roll to a cleaned plate.
Braise and Sauce Mixture
- In a heated non-stick pan, add a drizzle of oil and sauté ginger until fragrant. Then, slowly pour in the water or vegetable stock and add in the cinnamon stick and star anise and bring it to a rolling boil.
- Season with soy sauce and sugar accordingly. Once the sugar has melted, turn down the heat to medium and carefully place the tofu skin roll into the pan.
- Using a ladle, spoon broth over the tofu skin roll and turn the log occasionally so each side has time to absorb the sauce.
- Cook each side for about 5 minutes. Transfer the roll onto a cleaned chopping board and slice into your desired width once cooled.
- To make the sauce, thicken the remaining broth with cornstarch slurry.
How to Serve
- Slather the tofu skin roll with sauce and garnish with cilantro or serve sauce as dip for an enjoyable meal.