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Red-Envelope Mock Fish

1 large potato (about 8 oz.), peeled, boiled, and mashed
1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
1Tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 large (10- by 12-inch) frozen bean curd skin or sheet, thawed
2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water

1/3 cup slivered Chinese sweet pickles or sweet gherkins
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
3/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 to 3 Tbsp. canola oil
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

• For the filling, combine the potato, water chestnuts, cornstarch, salt, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a medium bowl.
• Unfold the bean curd skin and place it on a flat work surface with the narrow edge toward you. Spread the potato filling evenly across the middle of the bean curd skin.
• Fold the bottom half up over the filling, then fold in the sides. Brush the top and side edges with the cornstarch mixture (reserving the remaining mixture), and gently roll up the bean curd skin to form a loose cylinder. Set aside.
• For the sauce, combine the pickles, sugar, vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and hot pepper sauce in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the reserved cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens, about 2 minutes.
• Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.
• Carefully place the filled bean curd skin into the wok, seam side down. Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large platter.
• Cut the bean curd skin in half lengthwise, and then crosswise into 12 pieces. Pour the sauce over the pieces and garnish with cilantro.

Makes 4 servings