Ethel is my food partner in crime (FPIC). We could talk about food all day long. We do talk about food all day long. She, too, is lactose intolerant. So we
wallow in our dairy free lives celebrate Daiya together. However, unlike me, she does enjoy her meat. I get the feeling from her that vegetarianism is one step away from criminal in the Filipino culture. Anyways, now that I’m back in So Cal, we are uniting our passion for food. She is showing me the ins and outs of Filipino feasting, and I’m veganizing it along the way. We’re a perfect match!
white brown on rice.
We planned a dinner date last week and I was so excited I could hardly wait! Quite literally in fact.
As she sat in LA traffic on her way to our apartment, my stomach was growling profusely. I texted her letting her know I was about to chew my arm off, and she told me to have a snack (read: it may be awhile), so I dug into the white rice until she showed up (plus sauce…recipe to follow).
Then I set the table and a short while later Ethel arrived with some goods from the Asian market.
Spring roll stuffing ingredients:
- Green bell pepper
- Red bell pepper
- Cabbage (I used an organic pre-packaged cole slaw blend)
- Extra firm tofu
Grate the veggies (or use the shred setting of a food processor).
Press the tofu.
Add cabbage and grated veggies.
Mix the stuff up.
Spring roll dipping sauce ingredients:
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp ginger powder (use less if you aren’t a ginger fiend like I am)
Mix until it’s all smooth.
Add 2-3 spoonfuls to the veggie stuffing.
Cut pressed tofu into julienne-style slabs.
Drizzle with soy sauce and microwave for 45 seconds.
Afterwards, rotate tofu and recoat plain portions with more soy sauce.
Again, microwave for 45 seconds.
[This is a cheater way to cook tofu, but I was starving and thus lacked the patience to bake it]
Finally it was time to roll. Hmmmm…
A little help with the Tagalog Ethel? At least the crucial things are translated (ie: rice flour, salt, water).
So what do these spring roll wrappers look like before they are pliable and ready for rolling? Well they are thin, hard, and shiny. Plus, they crack if you don’t handle them delicately.
Also, they have a weird bumpy texture to them (that goes away once they are submerged in hot water).
To make them soft and stretchy, you dip them in warm (~90-100 degree) water. We boiled water in a teapot then poured it into a big mixing bowl. One by one, we dipped the rice paper wrappers in until they became soft, pliable, and ready to roll.
Then, I put them on the plate as flat as possible.
And Ethel scooped in the goods.
This is when her lumpia making skills came in handy. Holler!
She was like a machine.
Rolling and rolling away.
I didn’t wanna interrupt the efficiency of her spring rolling, so I set up shop at the rice paper dipping station.
Kyle took photos.
After no time at all, the ingredients were gone and we had a whole plate of rolls!
Are you impressed?
All I have to say is YUM.
I couldn’t wait to dig into my first two rolls…of several servings.
Plus a(nother) bowl of white rice with soy sauce on the side.
The dipping sauce was soooo good and really complimented the rolls. I loved the ginger pow. All the flavors were perfect with each other.
By the time the rolls were gone, Kyle, Ethel, and I were all full and happy.