Recipe courtesy of Vivian Chan for Food Network Kitchen

Mock Duck

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The first time I had mock duck I was so surprised by the smooth texture and umami flavors. All this from thin layers of bean curd skin rolled with a center of juicy flavorful julienne vegetables soaked in a rich, mouthful sauce. Although this dish can be enjoyed all year round, it is often made during Lunar New Year. We frequently eat vegetarian meals for the first day of the celebration for a lighter start to the year after celebrating with a huge meal on New Year's Eve. This version is based on my mother-in-law's recipe, which she has been making for decades.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr (includes soaking and cooling times)
  • Active: 1 hr 20 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings (2 bean curd rolls)
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Rinse the dried shiitake and wood ear mushrooms with cold water to remove any sand or dirt. Transfer each type of mushroom into its own separate bowl and add enough water to just cover, about 3/4 cup in each. Let set until the mushrooms are pliable and soft, about 45 minutes.
  2. Trim the ends of the shiitakes with scissors. Squeeze out extra liquid and reserve for later use. Thinly slice the shiitakes. Trim the hard parts off the ends of the wood ears, then thinly slice the mushrooms. Discard the wood ear liquid. Transfer both mushrooms to a bowl and set aside. 
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in an extra-large nonstick skillet (see Cook's Note) over high heat. Once shimmering, add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and stir until combined. Add 1 tablespoon of the oyster sauce, 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of the ground white pepper and 1 tablespoon water; stir until everything is coated. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely, 15 to 20 minutes. Wipe the skillet clean and reserve. 
  4. Meanwhile, lightly wet a paper towel with water and keep it on the side. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the reserved shiitake soaking liquid to a small bowl. Reserve the rest for later use.  
  5. Remove the bean curd skins from the package and work quickly with them so they do not dry out and crack or lose flexibility. Fold the skins in quarters and trim off about 1 inch from the rim using scissors; the rim is very dry and will not give a smooth texture to the finished dish.  
  6. Gently wipe both sides of 2 bean curd skins with the prepared paper towel and stack them directly on top of each other. If there are rips in either skin, don't worry; when you stack them, rotate the skins so the rips are not on top of each other. Cut one of the remaining skins in half, then cut one of the halves into quarters (reserve the remaining half for another use). Wipe both sides of one of the quarter skins and lay it on top of the stack in one quadrant. Put half of the vegetable filling, about 2 cups, directly on the quarter skin. Form the filling into a roughly 3.5-inch rectangle. Fold the right side of the large skins towards the center, then the left side and finally the bottom. Dip your fingers into the small bowl of reserved shiitake soaking liquid and brush all the sides. This will act as “glue” and help the bean curd stick better. Fold it as if you were rolling a burrito, tucking it tightly and rolling until you have formed a 10-inch-long by 4-inch-wide rectangle. Brush the seam with additional shiitake soaking liquid to seal well. Repeat with the remaining bean curd skins and filling. 
  7. Heat the reserved skillet with the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, add the rolls side by side. Fry until golden brown on the bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and fry until golden brown again on the bottom, an additional 1 minute. Gently fry the sides, about 15 seconds each. Remove to a plate. Let cool slightly. Pour out excess oil and wipe the skillet clean.  
  8. Add 1 cup water, 1/2 cup of the reserved shiitake mushroom soaking liquid (if there isn’t enough, replace with water to make up the difference), a pinch of salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper to the same skillet over high heat and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the bean curd rolls to the mixture. Poke holes all over the rolls with a toothpick. Soak one side for 15 minutes, then flip and let the other side soak for an additional 15 minutes.  
  9. Fill a large wok or wide pot with 2 inches of water and a steamer rack. Bring to a full boil over high heat. Place one of the soaked bean curd rolls into a dish or plate and let steam until the roll is slightly puffed, about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the dish from the steamer and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining roll. Once cooled, place the bean curd rolls with a long side facing you and slice into 1/2-inch-thick pieces using a sharp chef’s knife with a long blade. 
  10. Bring the soaking liquid back to a full boil and reduce by half, about 2 minutes. Drizzle on the sliced bean curd rolls. Enjoy!  

Cook’s Note

It is very important to purchase the correct version of bean curd skin. These are very thin, pliable sheets in the refrigerator or freezer section of Asian markets, not to be confused with dry bean curd threads in the pantry section or tofu skins which are also in the refrigerator section. This recipe will not work with any other product. If you do not have an extra-large nonstick skillet, you can cook the carrots, celery and mushrooms in a large skillet or wok; brown the bean curd rolls in a large skillet in batches, dividing the oil between batches; and make the soaking liquid in a small pot, then pour it over the rolls in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish to soak, making sure the dish accommodates the rolls side by side.

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