Tofu Eggroll Recipe

Tofu Eggroll Recipe Recipe

I finally made my own soy milk. I had a lot of fun squeezing the boiled, blended soy beans and collecting the liquid. I got the girls to help me out. We used the solid remnants, called okara or soy bean paste, to fill eggrolls. I'm telling you, nothing goes to waste in our home! If you don't have time to make okara (because it's quite time-consuming), you can buy it ready made in Korean markets.

To make the eggrolls, I blended the soy bean paste mixture with matchstick-cut fried potatoes, wood ear mushrooms, bean thread noodles and fried tofu. It’s packed with protein and makes a great substitute for meat. I served the eggrolls with the usual accompaniments: vermicelli rice noodles, Vietnamese herbs and shredded cucumber. You’ll love it!

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings

½ cup soy bean paste, freshly made
½ cup canola oil (or any neutral oil), as needed
6 ounces firm tofu
3 Yukon Gold potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
6 fresh wood ear mushrooms , sliced
½ jicama (see tips)
juice of a lemon
¼ cup leeks (green part only)
1 carrot, shredded
1 (2-ounce) package dried bean thread noodles
4 tablespoons fried yellow onions (see tips)
1 teaspoon mushroom seasoning salt (or regular salt)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon dried crispy fried garlic, store-bought
2 packages frozen eggroll wrappers


Directions

For the tofu: Drain any liquid from the tofu. Pat dry with a paper towel. Slice the tofu into ½-inch thick pieces. In a large pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil; fry the tofu slices and transfer to a plate. Once the tofu is cool enough to handle, cut the pieces into very thin strips. Set aside.

For the dried bean thread noodles: Place the whole package of dried bean thread noodles in a bowl. Don't forget to cut the little threads  and discard them! Soak the noodles in cold water for 30-40 minutes (up to 1 hour, depending on the brand), then drain. Chop into 1 inch threads. Set aside.

For the jicama: Peel and slice horizontally into ½-inch thick pieces. In a large pan, heat the oil and fry the jicama slices until golden brown. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut the pieces into very thin strips, then finely chop them. Set aside.

Frying the potatoes: Peel and slice horizontally into ½-inch thick pieces, then cut into matchsticks. Place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and a little water. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes. Drain the potatoes using a fine mesh colander. Discard the liquid. Place the shredded potatoes in a cheese-cloth and remove as much excess water as possible. Pat dry with paper towels. In the same large pan, add about 1 more tablespoon of oil and fry the potatoes until golden brown (I made several batches for maximum crispiness). Flip the fried potatoes. Cook until golden for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the golden potatoes onto a large platter lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.

Making eggroll filling: In a pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the leeks; cook until fragrant and golden. Add the soy bean paste. Separate into small lumps using a spatula, then add the sliced mushrooms. Cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Make sure the temperature is high so the filling doesn't become watery. Turn off the heat. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the carrots, potatoes, jicama, tofu and bean thread noodles. Season with fried garlic, fried yellow onions, mushroom seasoning salt and pepper. Allow to cool a little.  Add the cilantro. Mix well. Check the seasoning (see tips). Add more mushroom seasoning if necessary.


Assembly time:

Cut the eggroll wrappers into 2 triangles and separate them. They're sold in packages of 30 squares that are stuck together.

Place about 2-3 teaspoons of the eggroll mixture at the base of the triangle. Fold one of the corners along the base towards the other corner along the base so that it just covers the filling. Then roll the wrapper once towards the top corner. Repeat with the other corner that is along the base. Moisten the exposed top corner with water using your finger, then finish rolling. 

Once a plate is full of uncooked eggrolls, you can either cover with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator overnight or in the freezer for up to a month. Once you're ready to cook them, fill a large frying pan with any neutral oil about 2 inches high. Make sure your pan is tall enough so that there is enough room to add the eggrolls without the oil overflowing. Place the eggrolls in the hot oil one at a time, seam side down. You will see bubbles. As soon as each eggroll turns slightly golden, rotate it. When the eggrolls are even and golden all the way around, remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to drain the oil. They should be golden, crispy and delicious.

Place on a serving platter. On one plate, place cooked thin rice vermicelli noodles (called bún). On another plate, add fresh vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, bean sprouts, Thai basil and Vietnamese mint, and pickled vegetables like pickled baby shallots and pickled carrots and daikon. Fill a bowl with nước tương (vegetarian dipping sauce, see tips). It's family style - everyone helps themselves to their own bowl, starting with the veggies, the rice noodles, and then finally the eggrolls. Pour on the nước tương sauce, add the Vietnamese herbs to garnish. Lastly add sliced red bird chile if you like it spicy. To be eaten with chopsticks of course!

Bon appétit!


Tips

You can also check out a meat version for eggrolls.

If you can't find frozen eggroll wrappers, you can substitute bánh tráng (dried rice paper sheets). They're as good, but maybe a little greasier. That was how my mom used to make eggrolls. Fill a bowl with beer and add a teaspoon of baking powder. Brush each bánh tráng with the beer mixture then let dry for about 2 minutes on paper towels. Then continue as you would with the frozen eggroll wrappers. Personally I prefer the frozen ones; it's a big time saver which is important since making eggrolls is time-consuming to begin with.

I absolutely love the Messermeister shredder tool. When I went to Paris, I took one for my mom. She absolutely loves it too. It's so convenient for shredding vegetables.

Frying onions is easy. Chop the onion. Heat about 1 inch of canola oil in a skillet. Fry the onions in the oil, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. Drain the oil on paper towels. I always have to make extra so that I can vacuum-seal and store them in the freezer for future use. I place about one cup per bag. You can store them up to 3 months. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn.

I use Thanh Son tofu brand. If you live in the Bay Area, the main shop is on 2857 Senter Road, San Jose. I also like Golden Gate tofu brand; just make sure to look for the firm version.

One of the most common condiments to serve with Vietnamese eggroll is Sriracha sauce. It's the red chili sauce with the green cap. For those like me who are not into spicy food, you can serve it with a soy sauce condiment.

Mushroom seasoning salt brings a very distinct, earthy flavor to the broth. You can find it at gourmet specialty stores or in most Korean stores. I buy mine at Marina Foods -10122 Bandley Drive -Cupertino, CA 95014.

I made my own soy bean paste this time (i'll post the recipe soon). You can also find it in Korean markets. Soy bean paste is a great substitute for meat and it's very nutritious.

Fresh Wood Ear Mushrooms
Fresh Wood Ear Mushrooms.

You can find wood ear mushrooms in most Asian stores. I was pleased to find fresh mushrooms at a local market at a local market called the Milk Pail Market. The address is 2585 California Street, Mountain View, CA 94040. They're flavorless but they give an interesting, chewy texture to the dish.

Jicama is a large, sweet, firm turnip that is used in vegetarian Vietnamese cuisine to imitate the juicy pork fat and pork skin (when fried). It's crunchy like an apple and filling like a potato. You can find it in most supermarket produce departments or any Vietnamese store; it's called củ sắn. You could replace jicama with water chestnuts to add crunch to the eggroll filling.

I buy dried crispy fried garlic at the Asian store. It's sold in 14-ounce containers. It's crunchy and very strong in flavor. Adding this ingredient helps absorb the moisture from the filling to guarantee crunchy, non-soggy eggrolls.  You can also make your own if you like, by frying small chunks of fresh garlic.

For optimum results when heating the frying oil, the thermometer should register 345°F to 360°F. Heat the oil over medium to high heat (for a nice golden color).

You can find all the ingredients listed in most Asian stores.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 28, 2011.


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