I hope you all had a fun-filled New Year's Eve with your friends and families. What did you do to ring in the New Year? We had some family time at home. It may sound lame, but we watched "Murder on the Orient Express,"trying to solve Hercule Poirot's investigations (it’s so much easier when you’ve seen the movie like a dozen times ) while enjoying all the baked goods the girls and I have been concocting all week.
2012 was an incredible year for me. I feel so blessed and lucky, watching my daughter grow into an adorable toddler. And then there’s the publication of my first cookbook. I am so grateful for all the blessings that I have in my life. Thank you so much for your love and support. Here’s to making 2013 as unforgettable as 2012!
Back to today's dish. The girls' resolution is to lose as much weight as I did last year when I was working off my baby weight. I'm helping them by cooking healthy, yet still flavorful meals. One such concoction is today’s recipe: light red kidney bean patties wrapped in crispy bean curd. The filling is made of mashed kidney beans with panko breadcrumbs. The legume provides a sufficient amount of protein so the girls have enough energy throughout the day and the crispy outer layer provides a pleasant contrast of texture. For a healthy and complete meal, serve it with some brown rice and a dash of soy sauce. Enjoy!
Servings: 8 servings
2 (15.5-ounce) cans light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (4-sheet) package frozen fresh bean curd (see tips), thawed
⅓ cup panko bread crumbs
2 shallots, finely chopped
½ teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
2 cloves fresh garlic, freshly grated
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon liquid lecithin
½ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon salt
Preparing the filling:
Lightly oil the bowl of a food processor with a silicone brush. Add 1½ cans red kidney beans. Coarsely blend until a thick paste is formed. Season with red chili powder, salt and pepper. Add grated garlic, ginger and shallots and pulse 3-4 times. Add the rest if the kidney beans and pulse 2-3 times. Transfer the paste into a bowl.
In a bowl, combine the xanthan gum, 1 teaspoon of oil and liquid lecithin (or one lightly beaten egg with no additional oil, see tips). Add the xanthan gum / lecithin mixture to the puréed beans. The mixture will thicken. Add panko bread crumbs and the mixture to the bean paste. Mix well. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions.
Forming the bean curd rolls: Place 1 bean curd sheet onto a flat surface. Wet your hands with warm water and spread 1 portion of the red kidney bean portion on the bean curd sheet (forming a 3"-diameter log). Tightly and slowly wrap the bean curd sheet around the red bean log, Gently press so the mixture adheres to the bean curd sheet. The roll is made with the firm tofu as the outside. Press gently with both hands for about 10 seconds. Tie both ends with twine or string. Repeat with the rest of the bean curd sheets.
Steaming the bean curd rolls: Add water to the bottom of a steamer. There should be at least a 3"-high level of water. Place the rack in the steamer. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-high. Place the rolls in a 2-level steamer (to fit all the rolls), cover and steam for 20-30 minutes. The rolls should be soft and tender but still firm. Remove from the steamer. Let cool to room temperature. Trim and discard the ties. Transfer to a cutting board. Dip a very sharp kitchen knife in hot water and wipe it clean. Cut the rolls in thick slices.
Pan-frying the bean curd rolls: Heat a large, non-stick pan with the oil. Once the oil is hot, place the bean curd slices into the hot pan. Make sure to space them apart so they don't touch each other. Lower the heat to medium-high and pan-fry until all sides (both the bean curd and the red bean filling) are golden. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until a golden crust is formed on the outer layer of the rolls.
Serve immediately or at room temperature with bowls of brown jasmine rice drizzled with soy sauce.
You can find bean curd in most Asian markets. It's also called tofu skin and yuba. It's sold in 4-sheet packages; it's a very large oval folded into quarters. You could also use the dried version. Simply moisten it with a warm, damp towel.
Xanthan gum is a fine powder used as a binder and emulsifier. If you look at the list of ingredients for salad dressings and ice cream at the supermarket, you'll find they contain xanthan gum. I use it for texture and as an egg white substitute. You can find it online or in any specialty food store such as Whole Foods.
I use liquid lecithin as an egg yolk substitute. You can also find this online or in specialty food store like Whole Foods. You can replace both the xanthan gum and lecithin with one lightly beaten egg.