One of my favorite dim sum dishes is fu pei guen, or bean curd rolls. Stuffed with a flavorful filling of ground pork with mushrooms and vegetables (and sometimes chicken and even some ham), it is topped with a mild-yet-rich sauce and steamed before serving. Even though it is a dim sum item, it is also a good dinner dish when served with rice.
Known as fu pei in Chinese and yuba in Japanese, fresh bean curd skin is a delicacy. Made from fresh soy milk, it's smooth, a little sweet, and has a mild soybean flavor. Much the way a skin can form on top of warm cow's milk, bean curd skin is made by boiling soy milk, then leaving it to stand until a thin skin forms on top. It's then carefully lifted off in sheets.
While fresh skins can be a little hard to find, the dried version is readily available at most Asian supermarkets, usually sold as long sticks or sheets. In stick form, the bean curd skins work well in congee, braises, soups, and stir-fries. The sheets, meanwhile, are a little more delicate than the sticks, best used in soups and as wrappers. That's what we'll be doing here.
I start by making the pork filling, which is an easy mixture of ground pork with flavorful ingredients like Shaoxing rice wine, soy sauce, wood ear mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.
To rehydrate the bean curd sheets, I soak them one at a time in a dish of warm water. Each one doesn't take more than a minute or so to loosen up.
Be careful when lifting them, because they can tear once softened.
After each sheet is soaked, I stack them on a plate, separating the layers with paper towels, which help absorb extra moisture.
To form the rolls, I spread a bean curd skin on a work surface and put some of the filling near the top of the rectangular sheet.
Then I add a few fresh enoki mushrooms...
...along with some thinly sliced carrot...
...and marinated shiitake mushrooms.
Then, I fold the top edge of the bean curd skin over the filling.
I fold the sides in.
And then I begin rolling the filling towards me.
The final roll should be nice and neat, like this.
I brown the rolls first in a skillet, which adds color and deepens their flavor.
Then I cut each roll in half...
...and arrange them in a baking dish.
Once I've done that, I make the sauce, which is quick to whip up since it's thickened with cornstarch, rather than slowly reduced.
Then I pour the sauce on top of them, and scatter some thinly sliced scallions on top.
I steam the whole thing in my wok until the filling has cooked through, using a baking dish that will hold all of the rolls but also fits in the wok. Any steaming setup that you can rig will work, though. Once they're cooked, I add some more fresh scallions on top and serve.