Inspired by a cute little Japanese snackhouse in Brighton called Pompoko, the idea for these easy veggie treats are completely down to a menu suggestion by Vegan in Brighton.
Maki doesn’t refer to a dish’s content but rather to the method of rolling, hence yubamaki is a yuba roll. Wait, but what’s a yuba!? While you may believe it sounds disctinctly like a Star Wars character, be relieved to know it’s nothing more than soya milk skin. Similar to the skin you find on top of boiled milk, yuba is the soya equivalent; it’s delicately removed from the top of hot soya milk and enjoyed in a variety of different dishes.
So yuba maki. Think spring rolls, only made with soy milk skin.
As an experiment, I used two different types of bean curd skin: fresh and dried. Both were delicious, but my suggestion is not to use the frozen variety unless you plan on serving these straight away. Both varieties are best if served immediately after coming out of the the oil, but those using the fresh skin re-heat better in the oven later (they tend remain very crisp without burning). Just for reference, the image at the beginning of the post uses the fresh variety.
This is less of a recipe than a suggestion. Only you know your favourite vegetables, so go crazy with your favourites. My choice was simple, and I recommend retaining that simplicity, with spring onions, carrots, and ginger as the base flavour. I also added some miso paste for more depth.
Vegan Japanese Yuba Maki
- First prepare all of your filling ingredients. Julienne your vegetables and make sure your noodles are cooked. Keep the ingredients together on a plate or cutting board so you can easily put the rolls together.
- Heat the oil to a medium-hot temperature. A wok with a tempura rack is an ideal vessel. Don’t heat the oil so hot as to let it smoke. If it begins to smoke, turn it down a notch.
- You can make the rolls in multiple ways, either with triangular, circular, square, or rectangular sheets of yuba. Google up how to roll a spring roll for methods (yes, I’m lazy, and there are so many tutorials already).
- Spead a small amount of miso on the roll before adding a small handful (enough to cover just the palm of your hand) of vegetables, and roll ’em up.
- Using one (or a few- they stick) strands of noodle, carefully wrap around the maki. This doesn’t have to be perfect, and if you can’t knot it then that’s okay too. Once you plop them in the oil, everything will bind.
- Deep fry for 2-3 minutes, or until just brown and crispy. Drain on a tempura rack or on paper towels and serve hot with soy sauce or your favourite Japanese style condiment.