Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cha Gio Chay (Vegetarian Crispy Spring Rolls)

Homemade Veggie Spring Rolls

A craving for a childhood favorite came about a couple weeks ago. Rather than walking around the corner to the local Vietnamese restaurant and ordering the Cha Gio Chay off their menu, I ventured off to Chinatown.  Hmmm, what did I buy?....Well, when I traveled home to Lancaster some time ago, I asked my Aunt Hong for her recipe.  Of course she didn't divulge the exact measurements, but she gave me the recipe that my mother taught her when she was little.  She also showed me how to make the spring rolls from scratch (lots of small details that make it special, but I'll save those tips...thanks Aunt Hong!)  The recipe called for shrimp and pork, but I veganized the recipe to include tofu and taro. Therefore, I had to get the right ingredients.  

First and foremost, you have to buy the correct spring roll wrappers.  I tried different a brand and boy was that a disaster.  I'll keep the wrapper as my secret:)  Moving on, I also bought bean thread vermicelli, carrots, cabbage, onion, and dried mushrooms.  I made some with and without mung beans too.   Add a little salt, lots of black pepper, and a touch of sugar and you have your spring roll filling.   I think the best part of making spring rolls is the rolling part.  This truly reminds me of my mother in our kitchen on Orange St. in good ol' Lancaster.  Thanks for the memories mom.  Here are the results.  Quite tasty!

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