Food - Drink
What Is Tofu Skin And How Do You Use It?
By MICHELLE WELSCH
Tofu has tons of health benefits and is a major protein source in many cuisines around the world, but some struggle with its soft and squishy texture. Tofu skin is another type of soy product that is just as versatile, but has a pliant and chewy texture that's similar to meat, so you may want to know what it is and how to prepare it.
In China, there are two ingredients known as tofu skin: one is "tofu sheets," which are made by pressing soy curds into thin, protein-rich layers. The other type of tofu skin is called youpi, fuzhu, or yuba, made of the film that forms on top of soy milk when it is heated; this film is then rolled into bundles or "bean curd sticks."
When shopping for tofu skin, you may be able to find frozen yuba, which can be thawed, cut up, fried in oil over low heat, and served with condiments like chili sauce. However, tofu skin is most commonly sold dried, and while sheets need to be rehydrated in water for an hour before use, yuba sticks or bundles require several hours.
Tofu skin’s chewy texture can trick you into thinking you're eating noodles or some kind of meat product, though it becomes more tender when cooked into a soup or stew. Tofu skin can also take on the texture and taste of chicken or duck when they are stacked and seasoned properly, making them a great meat substitute.
Yuba sheets also make great wrappers for spring rolls and wontons, while tofu skin sticks are better for stir fry and stew recipes. To buy tofu skin, check your local Asian market or a vegetarian food store, and buy fresh yuba if you can find it, since it tastes fresher and is a bit easier to use without the need for soaking.