Sunday, December 18, 2005

Spring Rolls and Pad Thai

These spring rolls are something Darlene came up with many years ago when we lived in North Carolina. I went out for a ride one day after work and when I came home there were fresh spring rolls for dinner. We make them a little different every time but the main ingredient is most often either green cabbage or napa cabbage. Spring roll wrappers can be hard to find (as opposed to egg roll wrappers which definitely aren't vegan), but we usually find them in Asian markets. We don't have a deep fryer and though you could deep fry them in a large amount of oil in a deep pan, we usually just roll them a little flat and fry them in a saute pan in canola oil for a few minutes on each side. Here's the recipe we used tonight:

1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 small yellow onion, halved and sliced thin
small handful snow peas, cut into small pieces
1/2 of an 8 oz. box of seitan, cut into small pieces
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thin
1 tsp. finely minced ginger

In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry the carrot, onion, snow peas, and seitan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add the cabbage and continue cooking until cabbage is very wilted. Add ginger and cook another minute or so. Allow to cool a little, then start assembling the spring rolls. Keep wrappers under a damp towel and pull out one at a time. Place the wrapper diagonally in front of you, brush the edges liberally with water, spoon about 3-4 Tbs. filling in the center, then fold the top corner down over the filling, fold both sides in, and fold the bottom up and over. We usually double wrap ours so they'll hold together better, so now you can take the single wrapped roll you just did and wrap it again in a similar fashion. Store the finished rolls under another damp towel. When you're done wrapping them all, fry them a few at a time in a healthy amount of canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown on each side. When you take them out of the skillet, put them on a paper towel lined plate and sprinke immediately with a little salt or seasoning mix. We usually serve them with a dipping sauce that goes something like this (amounts are approximate):

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 c. apricot jam, 2 Tbs. soy sauce, 1 Tbs. rice vinegar, and 1 tsp. sesame oil.

So now I'm getting a little tired of typing and there are many recipes out there for Pad Thai, but I'll give you the basics on what we made tonight. The sauce was the juice of 1 lime, 1 Tbs. tamarind concentrate, 3 Tbs. soy sauce, 2 Tbs. brown sugar, and Asian chile sauce to taste. The veggies were 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks, a handful of snow peas, a little sliced onion, scallions (sliced in half lengthwise and cut into 2" pieces), 2 c. mung bean sprouts, and garlic & ginger. All this with a 12 oz. package of rice noodles.


Vegan Momma said...

The food looks fabulous.

I like spring rolls. I saute mine in a skillet also. Occasionally I double roll mine. I let the spring roll soak in a bowl. I take them out, add the filling, and start rolling. ;-)

They are starting to make egg roll wrappers without egg. Hmm then again I think they call them won ton wrappers. I have a manual pasta machine and have made eggless wonton wrappers. I eliminted the wheat flour and used chick pea flour and rice flour for the dough.

Katie said...

Where do you get your spring roll wrappers? At my local grocery stores all they have are wrappers that contain egg. :(

I've been anxious to make some good spring rolls; I just need vegan wrappers.

Chris said...

We get them at a local Asian market. The mainstream grocery stores usually don't have them so hopefully you can find an Asian market in your area.