Terry, I think what you are referring to is "yuba".
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) or tofu skin
: 腐皮; pinyin
: fǔ pí) is a Japanese
food product made from soybeans
. During the boiling of soy milk
, in an open shallow pan, a film or skin composed primarily of a soy protein
complex forms on the liquid surface. The films are collected and dried into yellowish sheets known as tofu skin or soy milk skin.
Yuba may be purchased in fresh or dried form, in the latter case, the yuba is rehydrated in water before use. It is often used to wrap dim sum
Due to it slightly rubbery texture, yuba is also manufactured in bunched, folded and wrapped forms that are used as meat substitutes in vegetarian cuisine. Yuba skins can be wrapped and then folded against itself to make doù baō (Chinese
: 豆包, lit.
tofu package). These are often fried to give it a firmer skin before being cooked further.
Yuba skin may also be bunched into sticks called dried bean curd stick (Chinese
: 腐竹; pinyin
: fǔ zhú). By bunching fresh yuba or rehydrated bean curd sticks, then tying it tightly in cloth and stewing it, the bunched yuba will retain its tied shape. This bunched yuba is then called tofu chicken
: 豆雞; pinyin
: doù jī; or Traditional Chinese
: 素雞; pinyin
: sù jī). If the maker of tofu chicken layers and bunches the tofu skins in a certain manner, they can imitate a piece of chicken breast with the skin on. The effect is completed by frying the "skin" side of the tofu chicken till it's crispy.
Other methods include rolling the yuba tightly on a chopstick
and steaming the yuba to form a log. When the log is sliced, each slice will be circular in form with a square hole in the center, which looks like old chinese coins.
In some of the upscale Japanese restaurants, they will have a dish where you make your own Yuba. Soy milk comes in a shallow pan, with a burner. As the solid film forms on top, you gently pick it up, dip it in sauce and enjoy.