Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vegetarian Vietnamese Spring Rolls (and Fish Sauce) - Giveaway

UPDATE: 1/31/12 -- The winner of the prize pack is #4, RunningLaur!  Please e-mail me your address, and I will arrange to have your coupons sent to you!


To clarify, the giveaway is NOT for spring rolls or fish sauce.  Read on for more details.  Sorry if you are already disappointed!! =P

Lunar New Year/Tet is among us (started yesterday and basically lasts 7 or 13 days, however much you want to party in your neck of the woods ;P), so I thought I'd celebrate the Year of the Dragon by doing a little giveaway and sharing a recipe for vegetarian spring rolls, Vietnamese style.

The idea spawned from these Nasoya egg roll wraps that I was given the opportunity to try.  I liked that they contained no MSG.  Although I'm not sensitive to that stuff (I pretty much ate it by the barrel-ful as a kid and still came out OK, ha ha), a lot of people are.

You will need:

- 9 egg roll wrappers (may vary based on how much filling you place in each)
- 4 or so Chinese mushrooms**, diced into small pieces
- 1/2 c. grated carrot
- 1/2 c. grated onion, or just chop it finely
- 1 egg
- 1 c. bean thread (clear) vermacelli noodles, cooked (a small handful if you're measuring by diameter of the bunch of noodles -- I know, I'm SO precise...)
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper

**Woodear mushrooms are typically used for these, but I made a substitution because I didn't want to go beyond my pantry. 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

1) Soak mushrooms for at least 4 hours before chopping.  Use hot water and leave them out in a bowl.  Then, chop into small pieces.

2) Prep carrot and onion.  Don't be like me and try to grate baby carrots... not easy or fun at all.

3) You can cook bean thread noodles (which I had lying around from THIS time) by either soaking them for an hour in hot water or just putting them in boiling water for a few minutes, until they limp up and are soft (take a bite to check).  You don't want to overdo it, or they will get mushy.

4) Mix veggies, mushroom, noodles, and egg.  Then add the salt, pepper, and sesame oil.

5) Time to wrap (not rap)!  Take the egg roll and put it into a diamond shape (in other words, don't square it off in front of you).  Add filling and fold wrapper over the filling, tucking the part just below the corner under the filling (wish I had gotten a better picture of that!).  Then, fold the sides over like an envelope, roll, and dip your fingers into some warm water to seal the top corner.  Got that?  Here's a link to a video to help.

6) I got 9 rolls out of my filling, but your mileage (hah!) may vary.  Put on a sprayed baking pan.  Spray the top of the rolls as well, or brush with olive oil.  I forgot to do something with the top, so I had to improvise (see below).  Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Not as pretty as my mom's, but we all start somewhere, right?

I made some fish sauce for dipping, but this is entirely optional and may not be suitable for all palates or the smell of your kitchen.

- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. vinegar
- 1/4 c. boiling water (I used a kettle... the water just needs to be hot enough to melt sugar)
- 1/4 c. fish sauce

- 2 gloves garlic, chopped into small pieces
- lemon juice to taste (ghetto substitution of bottled lime juice was used here, not recommended but better than nothing)
- crushed red chili (didn't have but would be good)

So since my baking failed due to me forgetting to put oil on top, I (or "The Ukrainian") had to pan-fry them until crisp and brown.  Still better than using a deep-fryer or oil-filled wok, though I think it'd be an easier option.  I'm just too scared to play with hot oil like that.

I was surprised at how authentic these tasted, in spite of the substitutions.  Not bad for a n00b attempt.  "The Ukrainian" kept burning his tongue because he couldn't wait to eat them. The fish sauce did help cool them a bit...

Giveaway time! (U.S. residents only)

Nasoya is offering 5 coupons for FREE Nasoya products of your choice (they make tofu and other soy foods that, in moderation, are part of a protein-packed veggie diet).  And a T-shirt!

One entry for each.  Please leave a comment for each item... I will be using those to randomly choose a winner on 1/31/12 at noon.

1) Take the Nasoya Tofu-U pledge (you'll get access to tofu recipes and recommendations).

2) Follow this blog.

3) Follow me on Twitter (@nobel4lit).

4) Tweet or blog this giveaway (if you Tweet, please include @nobel4lit at the end so I can find it).

5) Tell me about your favorite Asian food.


  1. I signed up for the challenge - I make a lot of tofu meals, so the extra ideas could be really nice.

  2. I've started to make baked egg rolls, and I love love love them. They are almost the same recipe as you've used here, but instead of the noodles, wilt down shredded cabbage and omit the egg.
    I make an entire package of wrappers at a time (usually about 20), refrigerate them, and then eat them all week long.

  3. I have a lot of favorite asian foods, but the top of the list includes roast duck, stir-fried choy sum, and fried tofu!

  4. I follow you on twitter- add me at amycimino as my account is private

  5. my favorite food is tofu fried rice!

  6. I really like the Nasoya Udon Soup recipe I tried and even my husband liked it! http://www.nasoya.com/tofu-u/tofu-recipe/udon-noodle-tofu-soup/

  7. I tweeted about your giveaway on twitter- add me at @amycimino

  8. I signed up for the pledge..great recipe and pics..thanks!!

    crluckystar at yahoo dot com

  9. I love Garlic Veggie Stir Fry

    crluckystar at yahoo dot com

  10. follower through email(cyclona66@aol)

    crluckystar at yahoo dot com

  11. Seyma Bennett ShabbirJanuary 25, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    I signed the pledge! seyma_bennett@hotmail.com

  12. Seyma Bennett ShabbirJanuary 25, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I love Pad Thai seyma_bennett@hotmail.com

  13. I have made all of the Tofu-U Pledge recipes and am enjoying all of them! Looking forward to making these!

  14. I took the TofuU pledge.
    teriyaki_tofu_steak at yahoo dot com

  15. I have lots of favorite Asian dishes. I love Korean food- bi bim bop with tofu is one of my favorites. teriyaki_tofu_steak at yahoo dot com

  16. Following you on twitter. @drkharlequin

  17. And tweeted about the giveaway @drkharlequin.

  18. I took the Tofu-U pledge.

  19. great challenge I signed up
    haomom07 (at) yahoo.com

  20. I really love vegetarian pad thai, and vegetable sushi rolls.


  21. I followed your blog via e-mail


  22. I signed up for the challenge.

  23. I like stuff with soba noodles or sweet and sour things.

  24. I follow you on twitter (just_audrey)

  25. i've taken the Tofu-U pledge (and printed off their rebate form - three more tofu meals and i get a pair of gym shorts that say "extra firm" on the butt!).

  26. i am also a vegetarian and cook a ton of pan-asian cuisine. i live off peanut sauce and spicy peppers and tofu! all over rice noodles.

  27. 1) I took the Nasoya Tofu-U pledge

    2)I Follow this blog.

    3) I am Following you on Twitter (@nobel4lit).

    4) I Tweeted this giveaway

    5) Tell me about your favorite Asian food.
    I love fried rice.