I didn’t come up with this idea. It belongs to Seattle-based radio show host Dick Stein. When we met up in September to tape an interview for KPLU, Dick said that after reading and cooking from Asian Tofu, he was inspired to buy dried tofu skin and deep fry it. The result was soy chicharron, Dick said.
You can do all kinds of amazing things with tofu skin, which despite its name is really the film that forms on hot soymilk. The Japanese call it yuba and the Chinese know it as doufu pi or fu pi (tofu skin); in Vietnamese, tofu skin is called dau hu ky. You have likely had it at dim sum or on a Viet ride plate as a dumpling wrapper to encase a paste of shrimp; the recipe for those fried shrimp tofu skin rolls (xia fu pi juan) is on page 182 in Asian Tofu.
There are many kinds of tofu skin and basically, they differ in how dried they are. If you’re interested in extra details, I posted a tofu skin primer earlier this year and tofu guru William Shurtleff just published an online history of yuba.
Dick’s tofu skin chicharrones used sheets of dried tofu skin – sold at Chinese and Vietnamese markets near the dried mushrooms. Get a flat package that contains the yellow pieces of tofu skin. Then get ready to fry up the skin into sparkly pieces.