This Vegan BBQ Pulled “Pork” with Simple Vegan Slaw will change the way that you see yuba…. Even if you’ve never even heard of yuba before. Full of delicious smoky BBQ flavor, the yuba pulled pork has all of the presence of a mock meat, without any of the questionable ingredients.
Yuba, or as it’s sometimes called “tofu skin” or “bean curd sheet”, is quickly becoming one of my favorite proteins to work with. Somewhat of a byproduct of the tofu making process, yuba is essentially the “skin” that forms on top of the soy milk as it cooks. The yuba is pulled off of the top of the soy milk before it becomes tofu, and then it is either dried or frozen before being packaged and distributed to stores.
Admittedly, yuba can be a bit difficult to find. And although I do hate to create recipes using obscure products, it is almost 2020, and most things can be ordered online and delivered to your door in a couple of days. Yuba is no exception. If you have a decent Asian grocery store, you should be able to find it there. If not, look on Mylkguys.com, which carries the Hodo brand of organic yuba.
I can’t take all of the credit for coming up with this recipe. In fact, I can’t take any of the credit. For my birthday this year, Ben and I took a trip to the bay area to visit some friends and family, and to eat at a couple of my favorite vegan restaurants. Our first night in Oakland, we went to The Butcher’s Son in Berkeley, and ordered this very sandwich.
Ben and I had eaten there before, and we were all about the place. They make their own mock meats, and cheeses, and then they sell amazing sandwiches featuring their products. The previous time we had eaten there we had tried their buffalo seitan chicken sandwich and their bacon cheeseburger, and they were both delicious.
This time around, the BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich with yuba jumped out at me. As much as I love a good homemade seitan, I normally prefer vegan foods without too much mock meats. I had been wanting to experiment with yuba as well, so this seemed like a great opportunity to try it, and to see what could be made with it.
In addition to the BBQ pork sandwich, we ordered the “Jalapeno Business”, which was a spicy version of a cheesesteak sandwich. Both sandwiches were seriously delicious, but the BBQ sandwich really stood out to us. Ben is a bit weird when it comes to fake meats and seitan, so I was pleasantly surprised when he fell in love with the yuba. After my first bite, I knew that I needed to get some yuba ASAP, and figure out how to make a version of my own.
The first morning back in Vegas, I drove to an Asian market across town, bought a couple of packages of frozen yuba, and began to experiment. Surprisingly, I found it to be very easy to work with, great with absorbing flavors, and pretty much a dream to turn into pulled “pork”. Ben loved it. I loved it. We had to share it.
This recipe was developed using frozen yukba. If you are only able to find it dried, then follow the instructions on the package for soaking, but use vegan chicken or vegetable broth instead of water. Once it is hydrated, you can then cut it into small pieces, and continue with the recipe using only a small amount of broth to saute it before adding your bbq sauce and dry rub.
- 4 ounces frozen yuba* or bean curd sheet
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons “No Chicken” flavored Better Than Bouillon
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 3/4 to 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry rub (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 2 cups thinly shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo, or more to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 3 to 4 burger buns
- vegan mayo
- pickle slices
Begin by thawing your yuba to room temperature. Depending on how your yuba is packaged, it will affect how you are able to cut it. However, the goal is to gut the yuba into small pieces about ½ inch in size.
To a large skillet on medium-high heat, add the yuba, water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and bouillon. Bring the liquid to a boil, and allow the mixture to simmer until most of the liquid has been evaporated or absorbed by the yuba. Stir often to prevent sticking.
When about ¼ cup of liquid remains, add your dry rub and ½ cup of BBQ sauce. Continue to stir, with the pan on medium-high heat until most of the liquid is gone. Add more BBQ sauce and dry rub to taste. Allow the yuba to caramelize slightly, before turning off the stove, and adding another bit of sauce to keep the mixture moist.
Cut your cabbage into thin ribbons. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and then taste for seasoning. You can use this slaw immediately, or let it rest in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Smear a bit of vegan may on the inside of your buns, and then toast them until golden brown. Add your BBQ Pulled “Pork”slaw, and pickles. Serve warm.
This recipe makes a lot of dry rub, perfect for mushrooms and vegetables of all sorts. Make a ton to store or give away as gifts, or scale the recipe down and just make a small batch for tonight.
- 1 1/2 cups tightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup course kosher salt
- 1 cup ground espresso
- 1/4 cup ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup garlic granules
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoons smoked paprika
Combine ingredients. Store in an air-tight container until ready to use.