Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dim Sum Favourite... Pan-Fried Vegetarian Stuffed Bean Curd Rolls...

Pan-fried stuffed bean curd rolls are hands-down my favourite thing to nosh on at Chinese dim sum. They are so good I can crave it all parts of the day. And tonight we are having it alongside dinner. I mean, why limit such a great food to just brunch? They are filled with crunchy vegetables such as bamboo shoots, black mushroom fungus and carrots, and when pan-fried the tofu skin takes on a crispy aromatic flavour that is savoury with every bite served with a dip of Worcestershire sauce. If the restaurant does a good job they can count on my business again and again.

I would talk about how delicious bean curd rolls were after having them in a vegetarian restaurant that my mom said she could show me how easy it was to make them. I never ventured there mostly being intimidated by the bean curd sheets- I had assumed there was delicate preparation of the skin before you could use them to wrap- for some reason I thought you need time to soak and lay them flat to dry. No, it was just as simple as purchasing bean curd sheets that were ready-to-use. I've made it many times now, using both vegetables or meat as the filling- I love them both. Here is my vegetarian version:

Pan-Fried Vegetarian Stuffed Bean Curd Rolls
Makes about 12 medium rolls

3 cups bean sprouts, blanched
1 garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled into strips with a vegetable peeler
8 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in water for at least four hours, rinsed, drained and thinly sliced
1 cup black mushroom fungus strips, rehydrated in water for two hours, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned bamboo shoots, drained
3 Tbsp. canola oil, divided
sugar, salt and ground white pepper
3 Tbsp. cooking wine, divided
1/4 water
1 tsp. chicken seasoning powder
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water (make twice- once to thicken the vegetable mixture, and another bowl to use to seal the seams of the wrapped rolls.
1 package dried bean curd sheets (see note below)
Worcestershire sauce for dipping

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet/wok over medium-high heat. Add half of the garlic and sauté with the shiitake mushrooms until fragrant about one minute. Season with a little salt, ground white pepper and sugar. Toss, then add cooking wine and cook for two minutes more. 

Add remaining garlic, carrots, mushroom fungus and bamboo shoots. Stir-fry for two minutes; season with salt, pepper, then add 2 Tbsp. cooking wine and cook for two minutes more. Cover for two minutes, then add bean sprouts, water, chicken seasoning powder and toss for one minute more. Taste and adjust seasoning- you can add 1 Tbsp. oyster sauce for a rich flavour. Stir cornstarch mixture into the vegetables. Let heat through to thicken and remove onto a plate to cool slightly before wrapping.

Great Substitute: Replace bean sprouts with thinly sliced cabbage. Sauté cabbage along with the carrots and proceed with rest of recipe. 

NOTE: Bean curd sheets are large sheets that come folded in packages found in the refrigerated or frozen sections in an Asian supermarket.

Prepare the bean curd sheets by cutting into twelve ample-sized pieces for wrapping- see photo below. Mix 2 tsp. cornstarch with 1 Tbsp. water to use to seal the seams. I add a few drops of soy sauce to flavour. 

Place 2 Tbsp. of filling on the bottom of the skin. Fold up to encase the filling and fold in the sides. 

Dip your index finger in the cornstarch mixture and run it across the upper seam; tuck the filling in the wrap with the top of your fingers and roll up to seal.
 TIP: Prepare right before you plan to pan-fry or the rolls will get soggy.

Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in a pan over medium heat, pan fry both sides with the seam side down first until golden brown about four minutes each. Sprinkle a little water half way through when cooking both sides to ensure wrapper cooks or else it will be tough and chewy. Drain the rolls on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess oil. 

With homemade Radish and Carrots Pickles in background.

Serve dipped into Worcestershire sauce. Delicious and nutritious! 


  1. Mmm, those look yummy!!

  2. Hi, can you tell me the name of this vegetarian dish in Cantonese? Thank you.

  3. Hi C. Nguyen, the name in Cantonese is Jeen Fu Pai Goon.