Bean-Curd Roll at Fan’s Restaurant in Dartmouth
The Bean-Curd Roll served at Fan’s Restaurant in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia appeared on the Dim Sum menu as ‘Oyster Sauce Bean Curd Roll’ in English, and were listed under the ‘Steamed/Savory’ category.
The Chinese name was given as 蠔油鮮竹卷 (háoyóu xiān zhú juǎn), which means ‘Oyster Oil Fresh Bamboo Roll’, but what was served turned out to be not quite as advertised. That being said, it was still a very nice dish.
The appearance of Fan’s Bean-Curd Roll offered from what one might first expect, given that it was listed as a ‘Steamed’ Dim Sum item. Bean-Curd Rolls do get served after being simply steamed, as in the case of the Bean-Curd Roll with Beef at the Palais Imperial, for instance, but very often, the rolls are first pan-fried and then steamed afterwards. This was certainly the case here, but, judging by the texture, the secondary steaming took place just long enough to re-heat what I presume were pre-cooked Rolls.
The filling here was quite sparse and consisted of just Celery, Carrot and shreds of Chinese Black Fungus.
If there was any Bamboo Shoot at all in these rolls, whether fresh, canned, or otherwise, it was included in such microscopic, trace amounts as to escape detection. Still, though I would have preferred just a tad more filling in the rolls overall, I didn’t feel that these were especially lacking because of the dearth of bamboo.
The Oyster Sauce mentioned in the menu was just a very light drizzle over top of the rolls, and I rather think it may have been added after steaming. It added a nice touch of sweetness and if any more had been added, it might have been a little too much. The scallion and ginger shreds were clearly added just before steaming as the were suitable tender and contribute their fragrances to the rolls very nicely.
The texture of the Bean-Curd Skin, or Tofu-skin, as it is sometimes known, was very pleasant and retained some of the crispiness imparted to it by the initial frying. These skins can have a curious, almost ‘papery’ consistence, which would make them a little hard to bite through when raw, but the two-step cooking process left these fairly nice and tender. In all, I thought these were a very good example of the basic theme for this specialty.