I can honestly say that it was easier to make the skin rolls than write this post. I found it difficult to explain and describe, this and that. Things that are very familiar to me yet so hard to explain. As I was writing it sounded like everything was more complicated than it truly was. So, bear with me as I attempt to explain this dish with photos. Which was the only way I was going to get this post done.
What are "Skin Rolls"?
Ground pork with thin strips of shitake mushroom, black fungus and bamboo shoots inside a chewy tofu bean curd sheet. Finished with a gingery broth. (I didn’t add it in the filling recipe, but you could add a tsp. of grated ginger into the meat mixture to kick up the gingeryness of this dish). I originally used a whole pound of ground pork and found the rolls to be too dense and meaty. In the recipe I cut the meat down to 1/2 a pound to give the rolls a looser bite.
Helpful Hint: There is no better tool than a microplane to grate your ginger. If you don’t have one, get one ($15) it will change your life. It is also the best lemon zester and hard cheese grater.
CHINESE SKIN ROLLS
½ pound ground pork
3 - 6 sheets dried bean curd sheets, soaked and cut into 6” squares
8 whole dried shitake mushrooms, soaked
4 pieces dried black fungus, soaked
8 oz. can bamboo shoot strips, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. dry sherry
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 recipe ginger broth (below)
Soak bean curd sheets in warm water for about 15 minutes or until they are pliable and cut them into 6 X 6” squares or about that size. They will be very brittle and may break apart before and after soaking, so soak a few more than you will need just in case. (Save the broken pieces to add to your Chinese broth soups). If you are lucky enough to have a well stocked Asian market close by you can find the sheets in the freezer and they will be easier to work with.
My mother in law gave me a pack of black fungus also known as wood ear to cook with lup cheong (Chinese sweet sausage) and chicken. Tonight I am adding it to my skin rolls and the ginger broth. Black fungus is known for its many health benefits with nutrients such as vitamin D, iron and calcium, just to name a few. I sliced them very thin and added it to my gravy and skin rolls. They have a firm chewy texture that goes well in Chinese dishes.
I wanted note that these little dried pieces are deceiving and will surprisingly hydrate to 3 - 5 times its size. So use them sparingly. I suggest that you only soak 3 or 4 for any recipe. The dried product seen on the right will expand to what you see to on the left side.
1 can chicken broth plus the soaking liquid from the mushrooms and or liquid from the seamed skin rolls.
Enough liquid to equal 4 cups
¼ cup cornstarch
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. oyster sauce
½ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 slice ginger, grated or minced fine
1 clove garlic, grated or minced fine
Place the chicken broth in a 4 cup measure. Add the mushroom water then more tap water or other liquids to equal 4 cups.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a pot and mix well to dissolve the cornstarch. Heat ingredients over med high heat and stir frequently with a whisk until the gravy thickens and comes to a boil. Add black fungus and pour over skin rolls.