Ever since reading about dried bean curd skin on Vegan Ronin, I’ve been on the hunt.  I had the hunch that Green Sprout’s amazing amazing amazing “chicken” dishes were made using bean curd skin and I’m fairly certain after sampling my own that I was correct.  The texture of the rehydrated bean curd skin is amazing–just like chicken!  (Well, or at least what I remember chicken being like…)  The twists are made of layers and layers of skin twisted into a knot, so each knot has this amazing dense, stringy, chewable texture.  You want to make sure that you get the twists completely soaked, though, to get that perfect texture.  It’s like rehydrating mushrooms or soy curls–you just gotta wait.

These are definitely much more wonderful than soy curls–more to chew on, although probably not good on pizza–and much much cheaper–only $2 a bag or something at Super H.  Paired with blanched and stir-fried broccoli in a black bean sauce, the chickeny twists were perfect.  The recipe makes about 6 servings and I ate most of those in three or four sittings.  Mmm perfect late night after drinking snack/meal!

“Chicken” and Broccoli in Black Bean Sauce

For the stir-fry:
1 package dried bean curd twists
2 cups boiling water/vegetable broth
cornstarch for coating the twists
2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
1/2 onion, sliced into wedges
3 cloves garlic, diced
2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
cooked rice/grain of your choice (I used quinoa)

For the sauce (adapted from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s Authentic Chinese Cuisine):
2 tsp veg broth powder
1 c water
4 tbsp fermented black bean paste
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1 tsp cold water

Reyhydrate the bean curd skin twists by placing them in a bowl with the hot water or broth for 20 minutes.  Make sure that the twists are completely saturated and not hard in the middle.

Pour some cornstarch into a bowl.  Keeping one hand dry, roll each bean curd twist in the cornstarch until fully coated.  In a deep fryer (my favorite new thing) or in a pan/pot with 1-2 inches of heated oil, fry the twists until crispy on the outside.  Set aside.  (I set the fried twists aside on a brown paper bag to soak up the extra oil.)

Blanch the broccoli in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes or until the broccoli is just tender.  Immediately drain the boiling water and run the broccoli under cold water to stop the cooking process.  (Be careful not to overcook the broccoli!!!)  Set aside.

Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.  Let simmer until needed.

In a wok on medium-high heat, heat the oil until hot.  Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic.  Cook for another 30 seconds, or until the garlic becomes aromatic.  Add the broccoli and the beancurds, then add the sauce and stir-fry everything for 1 more minute.  Make sure the sauce covers everything.

Serve over your favorite grain!