Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vegan Mushroom Spring Rolls

That's right, I said vegan! I do cook healthy things, too, yaknow. I have to admit, though, that vegan dishes have been a rarity for me, and the night I made these was the first time I made an all-vegan meal. Last Thanksgiving (remember the Buttermilk Cake with Brandied Cranberries?) I had a handful of vegan dishes, but not the whole meal, by far.

I made these in honor of my friend Melissa's annual birthday-weekend visit to New York. She's a vegan chef in Chicago, and is one of the two people who convinced me vegan food can actually taste good and not be processed nastiness and doesn't, in fact, have to consist almost entirely of soy products. So, of course, I invited Haley, the other of the aforementioned two, to join us for dinner.

Spring rolls are not terribly hard to make, if you can wrap a burrito you can do this. There's a lot of chopping and shredding and sauteeing to be done, and it takes a little practice to get the rice wrappers to behave how you want them to, but after you've made the first few you'll get the hang of it and they'll be done before you know it.

Vegan Mushroom Spring Rolls

1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 1/2 cups sliced or chopped mushrooms, shiitake or baby bellas or oysters.
1 cup white cabbage, shredded or finely chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 package rice paper wraps (spring roll wraps)

Salt to taste
Canola oil for frying

In a wok or large skillet, add a little oil and sauté onions and ginger. Add the mushrooms and stir. Add the cabbage, carrots and chives. Season. When mixture is soft, place in colander to drain. Add the sesame oil and cilantro when mixture is cooled.

Pour boiling water into a wide pasta bowl. When it's cool enough to put your hands in, carefully dip one rice wrap at a time into the water just long enough to make it soft. Lay a heaping tablespoonful of filling in a line on the center of the softened wrap. Fold one long side over, fold both the short sides in, then roll toward the remaining edge. Set aside and repeat until all are made before frying. Start heating the oil about halfway through.

When the oil is hot, place a few rolls in it spaced apart. They should get opaque and brown gradually. (If they seem to be soaking up the oil, it is too cool. If they are getting dark brown it is too hot. But you probably know all about frying stuff, right? Right.) Set aside on paper towels to drain as you fry the rest.

Serve with dipping sauce. I generally just put bits of the following in a tiny bowl until it's a nice rich color:
soy sauce
rice wine vinegar
scallions, chopped

1 comment:

  1. Well that looks really good. I love spring rolls and I'm quite interested in trying your recipe soon.if you wont mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!