Preparation / Directions:
I got into the cookbooks looking for the Buddhist mock meat dishes and ran across a bunch of other "mock" stuff, some of it vegetarian and meant to satisfy the craving for meat and some of it meant to represent other ingredients not available at the time. This first recipe is for "Mock Chicken". I'm not sure if the use of chicken stock would be permitted to a strict Buddhist vegetarian--I suspect not--but I imagine a hearty veggie stock could be substituted. Dried bean curd can give a surprisingly realistic impression of meat products.
Bring stock, soy, sugar, sesame oil and salt to boil. Cool. fold bean-curd sheets into oblongs (approximately 4 by 8 inches) and stack the sheets on top of each other, spooning the stock mixture between each layer. Roll stacked sheets into oblong loaf, wrap in cheesecloth and steam on rack over boiling water for 20 0minutes. Remove cheesecloth and fry loaf in deep oil until golden. Drain and cut into 1/2-inch diagonal slices.
From "The Regional Cooking of China" by Margaret Gin and Alfred E. Castle. 101 Productions, San Francisco, 1975