Chicken: Are you mocking me?
Me: Not at all. It’s just called mock chicken. It’s also known as vegetarian chicken. Sometimes it’s served at Chinese restaurants as a hot or cold appetizer or at dim sum.
Chicken: You’re mocking me.
Me: No, not really. It doesn’t even taste like chicken. I admit it looks vaguely like roasted white chicken. But it’s made out of fresh or dried bead curd sheets with a mushroom filling, steamed and then sliced.
Chicken: Mock, mock, mock.
Makes 1 roll
1 6-ounce package fresh yuba sheets
1 sprig cilantro for garnish
For the mushroom filling
4 dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
For the sauce
2 tablespoons mushroom soaking water or water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1″ piece of fresh ginger, chopped
Soak the mushrooms in water until soft. Cut off the stems and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Save the mushroom soaking water for the sauce.
In a wok, combine the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Strain and let cool in a large bowl. Wash the wok to cook the mushroom filling next.
Heat the wok to hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the mushrooms and the rest of the filling ingredients. Stir-fry for a couple minutes and then set aside to cool.
Cut the yuba sheet in half to make it about 9″ x 11 1/2″. Dip the sheet into the sauce bowl to cover it in sauce, then fold it down into a rectangle. Repeat with the remaining sheets, stacking them one on top of the other, saving the last sheet to wrap around the whole roll. Lay the last sheet down and place the roll in the center. Arrange the mushrooms on top and wrap up like a burrito.
Place the roll, seam side down, on a steaming dish and steam over high heat for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Cut the roll crosswise into 1/2″ wide slices to serve. Garnish with the cilantro sprig. It can also be made the day before and refrigerated for a firmer texture.