Archive for January, 2011

Baked Egg Rolls


It's like food porn on an ugly bed.

I know; I know: I’ve been away awhile. My fairly deep, fairly sincere apologies. I won’t hold it against you if you’ve all turned into tofu trollops without me. In fact, I hope you have been out there, playing the field, and experimenting—you know, getting your veggie freak on. But I’m glad we’re reunited now, back to our painted people of tempeh ways. (If you haven’t noticed, I’m slowly compiling a compendium of ways to link overt sexuality and vegetarianism. Actually, if you haven’t noticed, shame on you; it’s in the blog’s title, people.)

What’s on the menu for this glorious comeback? Try a three-course, eastern-Asian inspired meal. In a few days, there will even be my first interweb foray into desserts, which will blow your simple minds. First thing’s first, though. The appetizer: baked eggrolls with textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Ingredients:

16oz. shredded red cabbage

1 cup ginger dressing

1 cup textured vegetable protein

7/8-cup miso broth (thanks to the most helpful vegetarian I know–see comments below–I now know to be on the look-out for miso with bonito, or dried Mackerel flakes, in it. Consider yourselves warned.)

1 pkg. Nasoya egg roll wrappers (comes with 21 wraps, but I recommend splitting them for 42 wraps if you bake them)

A note about TVP: I haven’t used it much, but, so far, I’m pretty impressed. It’s a soy-based protein, and is a very well-rounded one at that. It’s completely flavorless, so it will soak up whatever flavor you use to reconstitute it. I recommend going with a strong flavor, since I’m not kidding when I say “flavorless”; some sources call the taste “neutral,” but that’s not nearly descriptive enough. Simply put, don’t fret about over-flavoring TVP. It’s even great for meat-eaters looking to cut back on calories, since it (reportedly) works well as a low calorie, low fat, high protein extender in things like ground beef. I promise you’ll be seeing it more on the VV.

Now for the steps.

Preheat the oven to 425degrees and allow it to warm up. Pour the ginger dressing over the shredded cabbage, making sure to coat every shred. Every damn one, slacker. Let it sit while you accomplish the paragraph below.

Slowly bring the miso to a boil and quickly add it to the TVP, stirring the slurry together until all of the liquid is soaked up. (Think making oatmeal with boiling water.) Taste the TVP, and make sure it’s cooked enough; you don’t want any crunch, but a subtle, spongy give.

Now comes a crucial decision: bake or fry. If you want to fry, just use the wraps as-is and—this is a VV guess—fry with the peanut oil at 350degrees until the mothers float. If you’re baking, though, tear the two sheets of wrapper apart from each other—like peeling a sticker away from a surface—so you have a thinner wrapper. I tried both as-is and peeled versions, and I preferred the latter; they were less gummy and baked more evenly.

I hope your burrito/ egg roll folding skills are on point. If not, just flip over the Nasoya package and follow their graphic guidance. (Or, just check out this video; I use more filling than this person does. My recipe isn’t for gastronomic wussies and culinary quitters.) Orient the wrapper in a diamond and place the filling—I did about a 1:1 of cabbage and TVP—just south of the middle, from left to right. Now fold the bottom point of the wrapper over the filling, fold the right and left sides in, and roll the bad boy up into a tasty tube of tasty, making sure to use water, non-stick spray, or an egg wash to seal the final corner.

Spray each side of the egg roll with a nonstick spray or rub with oil—extra virgin olive oil or, better yet, sesame oil—and bake at 425 for 8 minutes, flip, and put ‘em back in for another 8 minutes. By the end, they should be crispy wonderful.

And, if you’re feeling adventurous, serve with my peanut dipping sauce or some more of that ginger dressing.

I don’t have an exact number, since I experiment with wrapper thicknesses, but this should about 15 – 20 egg rolls. Should.

Non-Veg Friendly Factor: 4. They come out like hearty spring rolls, which makes for a nice appetizer or side dish. Plus, the TVP is barely distinguishable from meat, so you’re good to go there. It has a light flavor without the sauce and there’s a subtle crunch, thanks to the wrapper and cabbage. I really liked the purple color hinted through the thin wrappers, but I did hear some complaints about the aesthetics. They don’t microwave so well, though: they end up kind of soggy and flaccid. My main complaint, however, is that they’re flat, not round. I guess my rolling skills aren’t as on point as they should be. Eff.

Egg rolls are fun, easy, and exciting for my tongue. You’ll definitely be seeing more recipes. Next time, however, will be course two: Faux Pho.

Advertisements