In the last few days of October, broad daylight merely lasted till 1pm. Dazzling sun rays were obscured by the murky, menacing dark clouds. It’s an omen for an unproductive day.
Before I finished putting away the groceries and getting ready to cook, the perpetual rain pelted the balcony window. My shoulders dropped. I knew it would be a promising downpour to conclude the entire day.
I was in a gloomy living room, feeling flustered and exhausted, knowing that my plans for the week have to change, and I could not possibly trust the weather forecast app anymore. The only solution left was to prepare these Vegan Cripsy Beancurd Rolls w Taro, refrigerate them overnight and wake up early to photograph them.
On the next day, my eyes were wide opened at 7am. I sprung off the bed immediately to seize the daylight. It was very unlike my usual self haha.
To my utmost relief and content, I dragged out a ripping hot tray of glossy skinned rolls out from the oven. I picked one up, blew off the steam a couple of times and took a first bite.
The skin crackled in my mouth and I almost scalded my tongue. “Hurrr…hot”!
My impulse to munch was worth it🤭. Shortly after, I started snapping them as swift as I could!
You may have seen these beancurd rolls in a dim sum restaurant, where they are stuffed with shrimp’s paste, and diced shrimps. But this version of mine comprises of Lion’s Mane mushroom for the meaty texture, and also kelp for a hint of fishy-ness (in a good way)! It is also the first vegetarian/vegan dim sum I made so that Ryan can savour too:D
I always believe in less oily food =less guilt and disgust.
Unlike the commercial crispy deep fried beancurd rolls, I drizzle some good quality extra virgin olive oil over the rolls before popping them into the oven. You get the same quality of crisp and texture, but not a pair of greasy lips!
What are Lion’s Mane mushrooms?
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms are also known as Monkey’s Head mushroom (猴头菇) in Chinese or Yamabushitake in Japanese.
They are reputed natural nootropics, with medical properties commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Given their white, shaggy appearance that may seem dubious, they taste very similar to meat and seafood for its firm, and springy texture. They are widely used in Asian curries, stir-fry, rendang or even dim sum to serve the vegan/vegetarian individuals.
You can purchase them in local vegetarian stores!
What are the nutritional benefits?
Increase Nerve Growth Factor levels in the human brain, improves cognitive function and memory.
Combat Depression and Anxiety. Lion’s Mane compound helps to decrease inflammation. Inflammation plays a significant role in depression.
Improves cardiovascular health and metabolism. Lion’s Mane is thought to reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol.
VEGAN CRISPY BEANCURD ROLLS (Makes 12 pcs)
VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1hr 15 mins
350-400g taro head
½ bulb garlic
200g frozen lion’s mane mushroom
2 tbsp kombu /dried kelp strips, rinsed (Yes Natural)
3 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp cracked white pepper
12 pcs 2cm x 6cm Japanese seaweed strips (Kirei)
12 pcs 12cm x 20 cm dried beancurd skin sheets
Extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp Sriracha chilli
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Thaw lion’s mane mushrooms and soak them in a boil of hot water to remove excess oil (if they are marinated in a pack).
Use a cleaver, chop both ends of taro head. Take a piece of kitchen towel to hold on to taro while peeling skin off with a vegetable peeler. Alternatively, you can also wear a disposable kitchen glove. Any skin contact with taro flesh may cause skin irritation and itchiness.
Chop taro into half, and slice them into 8 pieces, about 2 cm thickness.
Soak both sides of beancurd sheets in a bowl of warm water for 5 seconds to remove excess salt.
Whisk together ingredients of the dipping sauce, set aside.
To cook the filling
Boil 500ml water in a steamer over medium high heat, lay taro slices on a steamer tray. Put lid on and steam for 25 minutes till soft. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
Peel skin off garlic cloves. Drain the mushrooms, give them a quick rinse, and dice them separately.
Heat a non stick frying pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp olive oil and cook garlic for 2 minutes till lightly browned. Add lion’s mane mushroom, and dried kelp strips. Toss and mix for 5 minutes till kelp bulbs expand and soften. Add toasted sesame oil and white pepper, and combine the ingredients for 2 minutes till fragrant.
Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl. Add taro slices, and mash them with a potato masher to combine evenly. Taste, and season with more pepper till desired.
To assemble beancurd roll
Lay out a moist beancurd sheet on your work surface. Add 1½ tbsp of filling on the edge of the sheet closest to you.
Gently pull away the edge of the sheet from work surface and roll over the filling.
Tuck the filling tight, use your fingers to press both sides to secure and shape the roll.
Fold in the sides, and continue to roll. Dab more water on the beancurd sheet to make them stick.
Take a seaweed strip, dab both ends with water, and wrap over the beancurd roll.
To cook the beancurd rolls
Preheat oven at 200°C. Lay a baking sheet on a tray, arrange beancurd rolls. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil over the rolls.
Cook for 20 minutes till golden brown and crispy.
Serve beancurd rolls with spicy dipping sauce.
You may prepare the beancurd rolls a night before and refrigerate them for extra firmness.
Store these beancurd rolls in an air tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Or store them in a freezer for up to 5 days.
Slice taro in pieces instead of in chunks. A wider surface area ensures the entire piece is cooked evenly.
Insert a fork through the taro slices to check whether they are cooked through