Vegetarian goose got its name not because it tastes like goose meat but because of its crispy texture that resembles the skin of roast goose.
It is made completely out of foo pei, or bean curd skin, and is seasoned with a mixture of red fermented bean curd and five-spice powder.
It is said to have been invented by Buddhist monks in Hangzhou, China, and is one of the first vegetarian dishes that, although having a meat moniker, doesn’t really mimic the real thing – unlike many other types of mock meat.
It is not often prepared at home because not many people like to deep-fry, so it is usually bought ready-made.
However, it is not really difficult to make because it only contains a few ingredients, and the oil can be reused for other dishes.
The vegetarian goose should be consumed immediately although it can stay crispy for a few hours.
If left out for too long, it can be made crispy again in a toaster oven at 150°C for 10 minutes, but it should not be fried again.
You may serve it as an appetiser with a sweet Thai chilli sauce.
This recipe first published in The Star Online Food News.
- 3 sheets bean curd skin
- 3 cups cooking oil
- sweet chilli sauce
- 3 cubes red fermented beancurd
- 150ml cold water
- 1½ tsp icing sugar
- ½ tsp light soy sauce
- ½ tsp five-spice powder
- In a small bowl, break up bean curd cubes with a little water before adding in the remaining water. Add sugar, soy sauce and five-spice powder and whisk together until combined.
- Spread open the bean curd skins and arrange them on a countertop. Stack them neatly one on top of the other and cut into quarters with kitchen shears.
- Take one-quarter sheet of bean curd skin and brush the marinade seasoning all over the surface. Place another sheet on top and brush lightly with a layer of marinade.
- Fold the long ends of the bean curd sheet to meet in the centre, then fold in the sides, making sure that the raw edges are tucked into the inside of the bean curd package.
- Use toothpicks to secure both ends and one in the centre to hold the piece in place. Then continue to brush and fold the remaining sheets until you get six bean curd packages.
- The final packages should measure about 7x20cm, each consisting of about 16 layers of bean curd skin.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and deep-fry packages one at a time until golden brown.
- Use a bamboo skewer to puncture the packages as you fry so that the bubbles do not suddenly burst and splatter oil all over the place.
- Remove toothpicks after frying, cut into slices and serve immediately with sweet chilli sauce.