'What is this?' Series..... Episode 1: Soy knots
Coming from Hong Kong and living in Sydney, the multicultural centre of Australia, I have the privilege in experiencing different foods from a wide range of cuisines. I am starting this 'What is this?' Series to share my food ingredient knowledge and finds here in Australia and in countries around the world.
What is this?
According to Wikipedia, tofu skin knot is a knotted strip of tofu skin. During the boiling of soy milk, in an open shallow pan, a film or skin forms on the liquid surface. The films are collected and dried into yellowish sheets known as tofu skin. From the different brands I have encountered, they are almost made with whole soy bean, not soy protein isolate.
What are the nutritional values?
As a soy product, these knots should be a good source of protein. As a result, this may be important food ingredient to increase the variety for vegans and vegetarians. Although, I am yet to locate any reputable source of nutrition profile for this food. This seems to be a common issue with 'ethnic' foods. Once I find a source, I will update this article.
Most importantly.. how do I cook them and how does it taste?
By themselves, they have very mild soy taste. They have a slightly chewiness to them and have quite an interesting texture. They definitely give a good contrast in any stew dish where most ingredients are quite soft at the end of the cooking process.
Due to their mild taste, soy knots are usually used as part of a dish and rarely on their own, unless they are in a form of snack. For example, you can find soy knots in a stew or a stir-fried dish such as Asian Buddha vegetarian stir fry or in meat stew dishes.
Ok so where do I buy them?
Soy knots are usually sold in Asian (or Southeast Asian) grocery stores dehydrated or frozen (either fresh or already deep fried). If you buy the dehydrated variety, you may need to rehydrate them with water before cooking.
Hope you find this useful and help to solve some of these ethic food mysteries.