Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tofu rolls

I'm on a diet.  Well more specifically, I'm reverting to dietary habits I used to exercise which allowed me to get my weight down to something way closer to reasonable than it is right now.  The problem is that I like to eat.  Alot.  So I'm trying the Dukan Diet, sort of like Atkins which worked for me in the past, but with significant tweaks like the variety of veggies and the inclusion of ooat bran - which I think are going to make a huge difference for me.

So you might notice a lack of carbs for a while, and a reduction in the fats I use, leaner cuts of meat, and the inclusion of non-fat dairy (milk was a no-no on Atkins, I can't even explain how much I missed milk!!) .  Hopefully I can come up with some fun things to eat that work for everyone!  Starting with these tofu rolls...

I woke up today jonsing for dim sum - unfortunately dim sum relies heavily on carbohydrates so I had to figure out a way to rejigger things to be on track and still satisfy my cravings.  Totally worth the effort.

Stuff you'll need;

  • 4 Chicken thighs
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 6-8 medium sized dried shitake mushrooms
  • half a can of water chestnuts
  • half a can of bamboo shoots
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Tofu skin also known as Yuba (Dried or refrigerated - I prefer the refrigerated, because I think it's easier to deal with)

You can substitute pre-ground chicken for whole thighs and breast, but since I'm supposed to be paying attention to the fat content, I'm grinding my own.  The mushrooms bamboo and water chestnuts have next to no carbs, so adding just a little bit acts as a flavoring rather than adding a vegetable, - totally phase one friendly!

Also - for a vegan/vegetarian friendly version, substitute extra firm tofu (crumbled) or seitan, or meat substitute like smart grounds for the chicken.

Rehydrate the mushrooms in warm water in a medium sized bowl.  Reserve the water to use when steaming the finished rolls.

Chop the chicken parts (sans skin) into 1-2 inch cubes, and whiz them in a food processor until ground (it should look like hamburger meat).  Mix the breast with the thighs and set aside.
Put the water chestnuts, bamboo and re-hydrated shitake in the processor (no reason to rinse it really) and run briefly for a rough chop. Add to the ground chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix.

Tofu skin looks something like this;
It comes either completely dry and crisp like paper think crackers, or mostly dry but still pliable.  If you have a good Asian market nearby, you can usually find it either with other noodles and dried goods, or in the refrigerated section with the other tofu.  The completely dry sheets will need to be soaked until pliable.

the sheets may need to be cut down to a manageable size - they tend to come in one ginormous circular sheet - I find you can cut them down to about 6 pieces for a fair sized roll , that make great single servings.

Place about 4 - 6  table spoons of the chicken mix on each tofu sheet, and roll like a burrito
I made these large enough so one would work as a small meal, two for a large meal.

Once you've constructed the rolls, prepare your steamer - I use the water from soaking the shitake mushrooms in the pot I'm using to steam for a little extra flavor.  Place the rolls on your steamer carefully - if you're using a metal or other kind of steamer that's not treated to be non stick, a quick spray of oil will ensure smooth removal of the roll when you're done cooking.

Steam the rolls for 5 to 7 minutes, they should be firm to the touch when they're done.  The skins will range from a pale whitish to yellow in color when they're done - it tends to depend on the manufacturer.  In the interest of staying away from carbs I drizzle a bit of soy sauce over the top
 Dim sum craving?  Handled.



  1. This is an intergalactically great recipe!

    It's so cool to see an easy (and totally irresistible) idea for dim sum that uses the relatively little-known yuba (Hodo Soy's is awesome).

    I'm making this for my entire planet -- thanks for the inspiration, Chi!

  2. You are amazing! Many thanks for not only coming up with this delightful Dukan diet friendly dish, but offering a vegetarian version as well. I have always wondered how to use tofu skin, and thanks to you, now I know. Can't wait to try the dish.