Saturday, August 29, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird in a Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant...

It never ceased to amaze me why a menu in most Chinese vegetarian restaurants has to be identical to it's non vegetarian counterparts. It always put me in a paradoxical situation to order mock fish, mock duck, mock char siew (Chinese BBQ pork), even mock shark fin soup. As if that is not a mockery in itself, I am expected to say " hmm, it does taste chicken" between the mouthful of morsels of imitation food in my mouth. Even as a omnivore, I do find it offensive to tell my vegetarian friends they are eating 'chicken or fish" especially if they are vegetarians because of their religious beliefs. Like the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird " by Harper Lee, which emphasize on tolerance and decry prejudice, I won't be calling my vegetarian dish "mock chicken in soya sauce " but simply Bean Curd Loaf in Soya Sauce.

Vegetarian Bean Curb Loaves Recipe (commonly known as Vegetarian Chicken)

1pc bean curb skin (Tau Pei)
8 pcs bean curb sheets (Tau Kee)
3 tbsp soya sauce
1 Tbsp sugar.
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water.

Mix soya sauce, sugar sesame oil, salt and water in a bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved. Place the bean curb skin on a square tray and brush 1 tbsp of sauce mixture across the surface of the bean curb. Place the bean curb sheet on top of the bean curb skin and brush the sauce mixture across the surface of the sheet. Repeat until all the sheets are brushed with the sauce mixture and place neatly on top each other, Fold bean curb sheets into a oblong loaf and wrap in a cheesecloth. Pour any remaining sauce mixture over loaf so that it is completely saturated. Place loaf in a bamboo steamer and steam for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth and allow the loaf to cool.
Heat oil in a pan and fry loaf for 30 seconds over very low heat until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a serving plate and garnish with coriander.


  1. Did you soak the tau ke first before wrapping?

  2. Hi Ming,
    Let the tau kee soaks up all the mixture as much as possible.

  3. Hi,

    What's the difference between bean curd skin and bean curd sheet? Do you know the Cantonese names for each? Are both found in the frozen ssection? Thanks!


  4. Hi Claire,
    In Cantonese, bean curd skin is "tau pei" which is used to make "ngoh hiang" and bean curd skin is "foo chuk pei" instead of the bean curd stick which is usaully used in "chap chai" or "chye choy".
    Cheers, Phil