Yuba Stuffed Mushroom Appetizers

Yuba Stuffed Mushroom Appetizers Recipe

Whenever I'm at the Asian grocery store, I buy large quantities of fresh yuba (tofu skin) whenever it's available. If you've wanted to try a vegetarian meat substitute but were suspicious it would taste bland, I urge you to try these yuba stuffed mushroom appetizers. 

If you're not familiar with yuba (tàu hũ ky in Vietnamese), this food product is the film that's formed on the surface after boiling the soy beans in water. I bought ready-to-use fresh yuba, so all I needed to do was season it. I made a mixture of rice vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, garlic, ginger, tahini, yuba, five-spice powder and black sesame seeds. 

The assembly was very easy. I stuffed the yuba filling into hollowed crimini mushrooms and garnished the appetizers with sunflower seeds for extra crunch. Voilà!

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

1 (24-ounce) package fresh crimini mushrooms
1 (12-ounce) package fresh spicy yuba strips, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and freshly grated
2 cloves garlic, freshly grated
½ teaspoon mushroom seasoning salt (or regular salt)
1 teaspoon five-spice powder (see tips)
½ teaspoon star anise extract (optional)
1½ teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons tapioca starch
1 tablespoon tahini paste
6 tablespoons hoisin sauce (or oyster sauce)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
yellow onions, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons curly parsley, finely chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds, lightly toasted

Directions

Preparing the mushrooms: Stem ⅔ pound of the crimini mushrooms and coarsely chop the rest with all the stems, reserving the mushroom "hats".

In a wok, drizzle about 1 teaspoon of oil. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the mushroom hats. Add 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Sit-fry for 2 minutes then transfer to a platter.

For the sauce: Mix the tapioca starch, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, vinegar, 2/3 cup water and chili garlic sauce. Set aside.

For the yuba filling: 

In the same wok, drizzle the rest of the oil. Add the onions and cook for about 6-7 minutes until golden. Add the chopped mushrooms and yuba. Stir fry until fragrant, then transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with mushroom seasoning salt.

Add the tapioca mixture and stir constantly to prevent the starch from sticking to the bottom of the wok. Return the yuba mushroom mixture, then add the remaining soy sauce, tahini, five-spice powder and star anise extract (if using). Check the texture of the sauce; it should be thick and syrupy.  Add parsley and sprinkle with pepper. 

Assembly: 

Stuff each mushroom "hat" with about 2-3 teaspoons of the veggie yuba mixture, creating a small mound. Garnish with sunflower seeds for extra crunch.

Enjoy!


Tips

You can find fresh yuba (tofu skin or bean curd skin) in the fresh food aisle of Asian markets in the Bay Area of California and now it's available at Costco. You could make the same dish using frozen or rehydrated yuba if fresh isn't available.

If you prefer sticking to non-vegetarian dishes, you could substitute shredded chicken for yuba.

Tapioca starch is used as the binder for the yuba filling. If you don't have any, you could replace it with corn starch or potato starch.

Little reminder on how to make five-spice powder:  Dry-roast ½ stick of Saigonese cinnamon, 1 star anise, 2 cloves, ½ teaspoon of fennel seed and ¼ teaspoon of Sichuan pepper. Place all the ingredients in a spice grinder (I use a coffee mill that I keep exclusively for grinding spices) until it becomes a fine powder.

Mushroom seasoning salt brings a very distinct, earthy flavor to the dish. You can find it at gourmet specialty stores or in most Korean stores.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on September 2, 2014.


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