Crispy Skin Bean Curd

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

Homestyle Chinese Cooking

By Yan-Kit So

Published 1997

  • About

Shatin in the New Territory of Hong Kong has always been famous for this dish; on the weekends, people throng there to eat it. I used to be in awe of such a gastronomic feat—a very light and crispy skin covering a velvet smooth and soft curd in the center—until I determined to find out how to prepare it.

Ingredients

  • 4 cakes bean curd, each usually about inches square and inches thick
  • Oil for deep-frying
  • Spiced Salt

Batter

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • About ½ cup iced water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Method

  • Prepare the batter. Sift the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder into a fairly wide-bottomed mixing bowl. Add the water gradually, stirring vigorously to mix into a very smooth and thin batter. Test by lifting a fork from the bottom of the bowl; if the batter runs down in a continuous stream, breaking into drops only at the end, it is of the right consistency. Stir in the salt and leave to stand in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or longer. Blend in the oil.
  • Cut each bean curd square into 3 rectangular pieces. Dab off any excess water with paper towels, handling with care.
  • Half-fill the wok with oil. Heat to a temperature of 375-400° F, or until a cube of stale bread foams very fast in the oil.
  • When the oil is almost ready, dip the bean curd, 2-3 pieces at a time, into the batter to coat thoroughly. Using either a pair of chopsticks or a perforated spoon, gently lift them, 1 piece at a time, from the batter (let some of the excess batter drip back into the bowl) and into the oil, and deep-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden in color. Make sure the pieces float freely in the oil. Remove the individual pieces as soon as they are ready with a perforated spoon and put on paper towels.
  • Gently plunge all the bean curd pieces together into the oil again and deep-fry a second time to crisp for 20-30 seconds. Remove together and put onto paper towels.
  • Place on a serving plate and serve immediately. The spiced salt is used as a dip to individual taste.

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