ming ai british chinese food culture 2011 p vegetarian 007

Key Stage

KS 3 & KS 4


Design and Technology- Food Technology


Vegetarian Crispy Bean Curd Rolls


Ms Ching-he Huang


Ming-Ai (London) Institute   www.ming-ai.org.uk


Preparation time: 15 mins Cook time: 20 mins


2 (as a starter)

Lesson Plan (Full Version) pdf button

ming ai british chinese food culture 2011 p vegetarian 009ming ai british chinese food culture 2011 p ching he huang 031


  • Groundnut oil 1 tbsp
  • Root ginger 2cm
  • Dried Chinese mushrooms 4 (or dried shitake mushrooms)
  • Bamboo shoots (tinned) 1
  • Carrot (medium size) 1
  • Wood ear fungus 50g
  • Chinese leaf 50g
  • Vegetarian sausages 2
  • Spring onion 1
  • Chinese Shaoshing rice wine 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Chinese five spice powder 2 pinches
  • Light soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • Vegetarian "oyster" sauce 1-2 tbsp (also known as mushroom sauce)
  • Corn flour 1 tsp
  • Groundnut oil 600ml
  • Coriander (finely chopped) few
  • Fresh bean curd sheets 2 large sheets
  • usually found in frozen section of supermarket, cut into 30cm x 30cm, fold two times into squares.


  1. Pre-soak the dried Chinese mushrooms (or dried shitake mushrooms) in hot water for 20 minutes, discard stalk, slice the mushrooms, retain water or you can use fresh shitake mushrooms. Rehydrate the wood ear fungus and slice into strips.
  2. Peel and grant 2 cm root ginger. Finely shred Chinese leaf, carrot topped and tailed, julienne, drain the tinned bamboo shoots and julienne. Vegetarian sausages julienne and finely slice the spring onion and chop coriander (for garnish).
  3. Heat a wok over high heat and add 1 tbsp groundnut oil. Add the ginger and mushrooms and stir-fry for a few seconds until aromatic. Add a splash of water to help create some steam.
  4. Add the bamboo shoots, carrot, wood ear fungus, shredded Chinese leaf, vegetarian sausage, spring onions and oyster sauce and stir-fry for less than 1 minute mixing well. Set to one side and let cool slightly. Drain any excess liquid and set to one side.
  5. Pre-soak the bean curd sheet in some water to soften slightly. Then place on a board and fold into squares twice, at 1/3 of the length of the sheet and place some of the cooled vegetable filling in the centre and then bring the two sides of the sheet together and roll the filling into a roll and seal the edge with some corn flour and hot water mixture (this acts as a glue).
  6. Heat a wok or pan of groundnut oil until a piece of bread fried golden in 15 seconds. Carefully place the rolls in the oil and fry until crispy and golden. Lift out and drain on absorbent paper. Garnish with some finely chopped coriander and serve immediately with assorted dipping sauces – chilli sauce, sweet chilli, or vegetarian "oyster" sauce.

A. Teacher Notes


Learning outcomes:

  • How to make a Chinese vegetarian dish.
  • Use various ingredients like Chinese mushrooms (or shitake mushrooms), wood ear fungus, Chinese leaf which are common in Asian cuisines.
  • Use various seasoning source e.g. vegetarian "oyster" sauce, five spice powder
  • Learn cooking techniques like stir-fry and deep fry.
  • Learn how to use bean curd sheets.
  • Increase the understanding of a vegetarian diet and non-vegetarian diet
  • Increase the awareness of nutrition information of food and healthy eating
  • Increase cultural understanding through learning Chinese cuisines and vegetarian cuisine.

Activities and key points:

  1. Discuss with students the definition of vegetarian cuisine. What are the main differences between vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines? Ask students to suggest some common vegetarian dishes.
  2. Show the photos of different ingredients and seasoning sauce for vegetarian food (refer to section "C"). Let the students understand the ingredients e.g. Chinese mushrooms (or shitake mushrooms), wood ear fungus, Chinese leaf (refer to section "C") which are popular in Chinese cooking.
  3. You can play the video of cooking (by Ching-he Huang) to motivate the students to make a delicious dish.
  4. Teach students how to pre-soak dried mushrooms.
  5. Let the students know that if the fillings are already cooked, the deep frying time will reduce rapidly.
  6. After cooking, ask students to reflect what they have learned from the lesson by filling the "Activity sheet 1" and "My cooking diary".
  7. Ask students to do "Activity sheet 2", choose some food and fill the nutrition information. Ask them to read more about the nutrition of vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients and try to summarize the difference (e.g. meat are normally rich in protein and iron while vegetables and mushrooms are usually rich in vitamins and fibers).
  8. If students are interested in Asian cuisines, ask them to explore other cuisines by searching through the internet (using ICT). It will widen the understanding of cross curriculum knowledge like citizenship and geography etc

B. Cooking techniques

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Stir-frying is a technique that when properly executed, foods can be cooked in minutes in very little oil so they retain their natural flavours and textures. Stir frying is a popular Chinese cooking technique for preparing food in a wok: chao. The chao technique is similar to the Western technique of sautéing. A small amount of cooking oil is poured down the side of the wok, followed by dry seasonings e.g. ginger and garlic, then at the first moment the seasonings can be smelled, meats are added and agitated.

Sautéing is a method of cooking food that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking.


Deep frying is a cooking method in which food is submerged in hot oil. It is classified as a dry cooking method because no water is used. Due to the high temperature involved and the high heat conduction of oil, it cooks food extremely quickly.

If performed properly, deep-frying does not make food excessively greasy, because the moisture in the food repels the oil. The hot oil heats the water within the food, steaming it from the inside out; oil cannot go against the direction of this powerful flow because (due to its high temperature) the water vapor pushes the bubbles toward the surface. However, if the food is cooked in the oil for too long, much of the water will be lost and the oil will begin to penetrate the food. The appropriate frying temperature depends on the thickness and type of food, but in most cases it lies between 175 and 190 °C (345–375 °F).

C. Popular ingredients in Chinese dishes


Ginger: Fresh root ginger is an indispensable ingredient in Chinese cookery, its pungent, spicy and fresh taste adds subtle flavours to dishes.


Spring Onion: These are onions that have small bulbs and long green stalks. They're usually eaten raw, but you can also grill or sauté them.

Soy Sauce: An essential ingredient in Chinese cooking. It is made from a mixture of Soya beans, flour and water. Light Soy Sauce is saltier and lighter in colour, while dark soy sauce has been aged longer and has a darker colour. Dark soy sauce is thicker and more suitable in stews.

driedbeanstickDried Chinese Mushrooms (or Dried Shitake Mushrooms):

Though shiitake mushrooms are now cultivated, they have the earthiness and flavour of wild mushrooms. They're large and meaty, and they work well in stir-fries, soups, and side dishes, or as a meat substitute. Dried shiitakes are excellent, and often preferable to fresh due to their more intense flavour. Soak them in water for about thirty minutes to reconstitute them, then use the water they soaked in to enhance your sauce.


bambooshootsBamboo Shoots: Young edible shoots of some kinds of bamboo, you must boil them first to rid them of hydrocyanic acid, a toxin that causes cyanide poisoning. Canned shoots are safer and more widely available. Rinse them well before using. Submerge any unused shoots in fresh water and store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator, changing the water daily.

Wood Ear Fungus:

They are dried black fungus that must be soaked before use. Has a mild but subtle flavour, have an interesting texture and are believed to have medicinal benefits. Chinese markets carry fresh or dried pieces of this tree mushroom.

nappacabbageChinese Leaves:

It can also be used as a milder and more delicate alternative to green cabbage in slaws and other recipes.


Chinese five spice powder:

This brown powder is a mixture of star anise, Sichuan peppercorns, fennel, cloves, and cinnamon.

shaoxing cooking wineChinese Shaoshing rice wine:

Shaoxing wine is one of the most famous varieties of traditional Chinese fermented wines from rice. It originates from the region of Shaoxing, in the Zhejiang province of eastern China. It is both drunk as a beverage as well as widely used in Chinese cuisine. It is internationally well-known and renowned throughout mainland China, as well as in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. The timing and proportion of rice wine plays a large role when adding it to a dish, rice wines of different ages also have a different effect on the dishes.

Vegetarian "Oyster" Sauce (also known as Mushroom Sauce):

This sauce is extracted from mushroom but as it tastes like oyster, sometimes it calls vegetarian "oyster" sauce. It can draw out the flavour of delicacies as well as enrich the tastes of vegetables, and goes well with both Chinese and western dishes.

freshbeancurdskinFresh bean curd sheets:

This is the sweet, protein-rich skin that forms on warm soymilk as it cools, cooks like to add it to soups or use it as wrappers. When it's deep-fat fried, dried bean curd skins comes as sheets, rolls, knots, and many other forms. It needs to be reconstituted with water before you can use it, unless you're planning to add it to a soup. Requires soaking before use


D. Cooking utensils


wok1A most useful and versatile piece of equipment, the wok may be used for stir frying, blanching, deep-frying and steaming foods.

A wok is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in China. It is used especially in East and Southeast Asia. It usually has a long handled chahn (spatula) or hoak (ladle). The long extensions of these utensils allow the cook to work with the food without burning the hand.

The most common materials used in making woks today are carbon steel and cast iron. Although the latter was the most common type used in the past, cooks tend to be divided on which woks are superior, i.e. carbon steel or cast iron.