At first glance, the dish identified as B3 on the menu at An Hy Quan looks like a plate of Chinese barbecued spare ribs, the kind of flaming-red slabs that are a fixture of pu pu platters everywhere. Their texture bears resembles that of slow-cooked pork.
But these morsels don’t come from a pig, or any other animal, for that matter. They’re made from tofu skin, a product of boiling soy milk and skimming off the film that floats to the surface of the water. The skins are layered and prepared through the Chinese barbecue method known as char siu, an approach that leaves them with a salty, sweet flavor and a vivid red color.
This inventive spin on soybeans is just one example of the creativity at An Hy Quan, a vegetarian – mostly vegan – restaurant on Juan Tabo that uses ingredients such as tofu, seaweed and seitan, or cooked wheat gluten, to mimic the flavors and textures of beef, pork, chicken and fish.