What is a Yuba, you ask? Well to begin, let’s talk about what it is not:
- A musical instrument that makes fart noises.
- A new dance craze that consists of squiggly moves and Gumby arms.
- A cross-breed of a Lama and a sheep, although this would be a great name for that combination. So crazy scientists reading this blog post, take note.
But because “no’s” don’t get you very far in life (and neither do double negatives), let’s move on to what a Yuba actually is.
Yuba is the name for fresh tofu skins. Silky and pliable, they are an amazing ingredient to have in your cooking arsenal. And thanks to Hodo Soy Beanery, they are now available in a neat, little low sodium package (something like 35mg per sheet – and the sheets are huge, like wear them over your swimsuit as a cover-up huge).
I have been buying them recently at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market and Bi Rite Market, and they are also available at these Bay Area grocery stores and these restaurants. But beware, because they are so fresh and preservative-free, they expire quickly. Luckily, though, they can be used in many creative ways.
This week, I’ve cut them into slivers and snacked on them solo; I sliced them to look like noodles and put them into some mushroom broth soup; I fried them with bean sprouts, Napa cabbage, and other veggies for a meat-less stir fry; and I even put them into some low-sodium pad thai. Oh yeah, I said pad thai.
But one of the best uses I found for them so far was in my low sodium, egg-less egg rolls.
I used a quarter of one soy sheet as the wrapper and filled it with rice noodles, bean sprouts, sliced carrots, and some cilantro that I had on hand.
Then, in a small, extremely hot pan, I heated a dot of sesame oil and added the wrappers. Cue sizzle.
In a moment of maturity, I was actually patient and let the seamed side sit for five minutes, untouched. When I turned it over, the rolls were perfectly glued together and bubbly, looking as if they got a scrumptious third degree burn. I then turned them over to let the other side do the same.
To really impress myself – and yes, I was eating these alone at ten in the morning – I laid them on a white platter over fresh cabbage leaves. I fried some ginger rounds and drizzled more sesame on the plate. And after devouring both of them, noodles slapping my chin and mouth, I sent my compliments to the chef. I really outdid myself this time.
So whether you play the Yuba, do the Yuba, or milk a Yuba, do yourself a favor and grab some of the edible kind and have yourself soy much fun.
I think that’s enough horrible puns for one post.