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A Vegetarian Spring Roll

After 46 consecutive days, I feel like I’m finally starting to get the hang of this vegetarian thing. This spiritual journey has opened my eyes to a whole new world, namely the Viet Hoa Food Market, a Vietnamese grocery store on Cleveland.  I’ve driven by the place a bajillion times, but never imagined actually entering it to buy food because, of course, food is what you get in your own neighborhood at the bright, shiney store with the gleaming baskets, the automatic doors, the sale flyers in English, and the organized, waxed produced placed just so.   But Skattur had put the idea in my head that I should try to make vegetarian spring rolls, so off to the Vietnamese grocery I went.  I left with two bags FULL of food for $7.00.  

$7.00!

Then it was springroll making time. I’ve eaten springrolls before. Who needs recipes? Here’s how it went down:

The stuff

avocado
red onions
tomatoes
mung bean sprouts
cilantro
mint
lettuce
cucumbers
rice paper
rice noodles
tofu (or shrimp if you eat that stuff)

  • Wash and chop up all the veggies that go in the rolls. In my case this was avocado, red onions, tomatoes, mung bean sprouts, cilantro, mint, lettuce, cucumbers.

    The veggies

mung bean sprouts

By the way, mung bean sprouts are crazy good for you and I’ve since learned how to grow them.  But that is a different story….coming soon to a blog near you!

  • Boil water for the rice noodles. Pour off a little of the boiling water into a large bowl for the rice paper. (Realize there are no cooking instructions on the rice noodles! How long do you cook them?! Have a mild panic attack. Do an emergency Google search for how to make rice noodles.  Find a video that explains the secrets of rice noodle cooking. Kiss iphone and wonder how you ever lived without it.) Cook rice noodles 2 minutes. 

    Rice Noodles...without cooking instructions.

  • Drain gelatinous glob of rice noodles and wonder what went wrong.  Put them to the side and try to forget about them.
  • Soak rice paper in bowl of hot water until it gets soft. (About 25 seconds) 

    rice paper

rice paper

  • Put vegetables in center of rice paper. (Try to figure out how to fold paper, then resort to watching youtube videos on the topic.) Fold rice paper like a burrito. Right 1/3 folds in, left 1/3 folds in, fold bottom in and roll. 
  • Look at noodles, which have cooled into a recognizable consistency.  Add them to the next roll. 

Voila! Spring Rolls.  I made about 15-20 of them after I got the hang of it.

Here’s a video that explains it a lot better than I did.

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