炸豆渣塊 (zhà dòu zhā kuài) I guess you could call them “Vegetarian Nuggets.” Literally it translates as “deep fried soybean dregs pieces,” so that is might not be the best name for them. Basically when you make soy milk or tofu you end up with a bunch of leftover ground soybean dregs that you have to find a use for and these nuggets are one of those uses.
Often I use the leftover soybean dregs in Biji Jjigae, but I am always looking for other uses for the stuff. I came across this recipe a while back and I was excited to try it. It reminded me some of the things I find in some of the vegetarian Buddhist restaurants I like to visit on occasion when I am in Taiwan. I am not a vegetarian per say, but I like the artistry that goes into the variety of textures and flavors they create.
This is a really easy recipe, especially if you have a digital scale, but if not, an old school scale works just fine. But do pay attention to the order of addition of the ingredients for best results.
- 7 oz. (200g) soybean dregs/pulp
- 1-2 slices of fresh ginger, minced
- 1 oz. (30g) corn or tapioca starch
- 5 T. (75ml/g) water
- 2 1/2 oz. (70g) all purpose flour
- Dipping salt (salt mixed with white pepper or 5 spice powder) (optional)
- oil for deep frying
- To the soybean dregs add the minced fresh ginger and corn starch and mix in.
- Add 5 T. to water and mix in. To that mix in the 2 1/2 oz. (more or less) of flour to form a dough that is easy to mold. (Not so soft that it doesn’t hold its shape, not so dry that it falls apart.)
- Form the dough into little nuggets about the size and shape of chicken nuggets.
- In a deep pan heat a few inches of oil to 320° F or 160° C.
- A few at a time add the nuggets to the hot oil, fry for about 5 or 6 minutes. Until the nuggets float to the top and turn golden brown.
- Remove to a draining rack.
- Serve with a dipping salt or dipping sauce. Or you could even use them in stir fry dishes such as a sweet and sour.