Stuffing Ingredients: Chestnuts (boiled, roasted, roughly chopped)
Fresh mushrooms (finely chopped)
Wild dried mushrooms (rehydrated in water-keep soaking liquids)
Red onion & scallions (finely chopped)
Dried thyme & sage (finely chopped)
Dried figs (roughly chopped)
Fresh parsley (roughly chopped)
Fresh rosemary (finely chopped)
Roasted garlic (roughly chopped)
Salt & pepper to taste
Yuba ingredients: Yuba, five spice powder soy sauce
Celeriac purée ingredients: celeriac, salt, lemon juice, water, olive oil
Crispy brassica ingredients: Brussels sprouts, Kale, olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh lemon juice
Marinate the yuba in soy sauce and a couple pinches of five spice. Marinating the cooked yuba helps moisten and tenderize it, taking away some of the inherent chewiness associated with tofu.
Rehydrate the dried wild porcini mushrooms with hot water.
Peel the celeriac and roast in a 350-400 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes or until tender.
To the baking sheet, add a bulb of garlic, wrapped in tinfoil to prevent the garlic paper skin from burning. This garlic will be used in the celeriac puree and the stuffing.
Once the garlic is soft, peel and chop.
Add the roasted celeriac and half of the roasted garlic bulb to a food processor.
Add a couple tablespoons of hot water, salt, and lemon and blend into a puree.
Add more water one tablespoon at a time as needed until a smooth consistency forms. I added the processed mixture to a blender in order to smooth the puree out further. If you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, you can just use this to make the purée.
Time to make the stuffing! Cut the top of each raw chestnut with a sharp knife, this allows them to cook properly and be easily peeled.
Steam the chestnuts for 30 minutes in a pot of boiling water.
Remove from the pot and roast in the oven on a baking sheet for 30 minutes.
Peel the chestnuts and chop them. I discovered many of the chestnuts turned out being rotten or old after cooking and peeling them, and were sadly unusable. I bought two bags of chestnuts and had the same issue on both occasions. Given their high price point, I recommend carefully picking over the chestnuts you buy to this from happening, as they are a delicate food.
Plump up & infuse the cooked chestnuts in Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine), salt and water.
Chop a handful of dried figs, to be added into the stuffing mix.
Chop one red onion.
Chop two packages of fresh mushrooms.
Chop the fresh rosemary, dried sage, dried thyme, and pinch of fennel seeds.
Chop scallions and fresh parsley.
In a lightly oiled pan, saute the red onion, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Once the mushrooms are translucent, add half of the roasted garlic and dried mushrooms with its umami-rich soaking liquid.
In a separate skillet, saute the fresh mushrooms with salt and pepper until browned. Then add them to the rest of the stuffing.
Add the dried figs and Shaoxing wine-infused chestnuts, minus the marinating liquids and stir to let the flavours combine.
Add a handful of fresh scallions and parsley, stir to combine and turn off the heat.
Season with salt and pepper and a small squeeze of fresh lemon for some brightness and acidity. Let the stuffing cool slightly while you prep the yuba.
Pre-heat the oven to 350-40 while stuffing the yuba.
Lay out 3 sheets of yuba, slightly overlapping, and spoon over an even layer of stuffing. Roll it up from the side (right) or the slightly shorter end of the square.
Line a baking pan with tinfoil and roast the stuffed (pre-cooked) yuba in a 350-400 oven for 10 minutes so that the tofu skins crisp and golden.
I made a few different sized rolls to play with the varying textures that would result. I found the larger rolls held together but I preferred the smaller rolls which had a higher stuffing to tofu ratio.
I enjoy how roasting the yuba skin this way allows a ‘crackling’ to form on the exterior, while the inside stays moist, creating a pleasant textural contrast.
I made a simple sauce with Shaoxing wine and pomegranate molasses, reduced in a pot on low heat until it became a sweet rich sauce.
Prep the brussels sprouts by coring them to release the individual leaves. I used the rest of the brussels sprouts in a hash later on, please do not throw away any of the vegetable, it is all usable.
De-stem the kale leaves and rip or cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Separately pan fry the brussels sprout leaves and kale in a hot skillet with a little olive oil for 30 seconds to a minute until crispy. Season with salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon. This adds brightness and keeps the colour of the greens vibrant.
Plate up the celeriac & roasted garlic purée, a slice of the yuba roast, some lightly steamed celeriac cubes, crispy greens and the Shaoxing wine & pomegranate molasses sauce.
I made this holiday meal for my family, as a plant-based version of the roast dinner. Yuba aka tofu skin serves as a delicious and healthy meat-alternative to pair with the chestnut and mushroom stuffing.
Celeriac is one of my favourite root vegetables and is still readily available throughout the winter in Quebec. It serves a versatile vegetable, offering more nutrition and much less starch than white potatoes. Celeriac has a unique subtle nutty and ‘celery-like’ flavour and is a source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, manganese and fiber.
Yuba or tofu skins/sheet, made from soybeans, is more commonly found in Chinese, Japanese and Thai cuisines. Yuba can be found in fresh, fermented, or dried form, sold as sticks or sheets to be rehydrated. Early written reference to yuba is found in the Bencao Gangmu aka Compendium of Materia Medica by Chinese Li Shizen, an encyclopedia of sorts on medicine and natural science, published in 1593. The book states ‘if a film should form on the surface of soymilk when it is heated in the process of making tofu, it should be lifted off and dried to give doufu pi (bean curd skin) which is itself a delicious food ingredient’.
The yuba I used is found from a Montreal-based company Paradis Vegetarien, a supplier of vegetarian non-GMO soybeans and shiitake mushroom based products. If you live in Montreal, they have a shop located at 4381 Rue Saint-Denis in the Plateau. Their products can also be purchased at Supermarché G & D in in Chinatown (1006 St Laurent Montréal). Make your own yuba by following the well-documented recipe by chef Linda Anctil, of the amazing Playing with fire food blog, HERE!