Tuesday, November 23, 2010

VeganMoFo: Fresh Thai Spring Rolls

Well, we all have our preferences, and personally, I love love love Thai food. I remember the very first time I had it, soon after I moved to Seattle after college. Revelation! Thai food is full of beautiful flavors, fresh ingredients, veggies, tofu... and everything good and wonderful. It's definitely one of my most favorite world cuisines out there.

When we bought our house, there was a funky, boarded up former restaurant about 1 block from our house. It had a decrepit, hand-painted sign "Mexico Grill" on the outside. It sat vacant for months, and we spent the whole time day dreaming of what it would become ... "a vegan bakery!" "an Italian deli!" "an all-vegan chocolatier!" Well, it wasn't any of those things, but after a couple of years, it did open up as a beautiful Thai restaurant... which makes delicious food and is very vegan-friendly. As a result of having a really great Thai restaurant about 100 feet from my front door, I don't cook Thai food all that often. It's not uncommon for us to hop down there for a little take out. And when our dog was sprayed by a skunk about 4 minutes before closing, they very graciously let us run down there and eat in-house, so we could enjoy a dinner without the (unappetizing) stench of skunk.

Nonetheless, Mr. Vegan Eats & Treats was away, and here I am doing "around the world in 30 days," so I decided to try my hand at fresh spring rolls of my own. First I made the all-important peanut sauce. I used a recipe for Thai peanut sauce from "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian," by Mark Bittman. The flavor was different from what I get at my favorite Thai restaurant, a little bit sweeter and spicier, but still very good and definitely quite enjoyable. Next, I cooked up some mega-delicious little tofu strips. Cut up some fresh cukes, carrots, mint, thai basil, cilantro... and gathered my mung bean sprouts. Oh, and a few chopped peanuts for good measure. Ready to assemble!

As you can see, they're not about to offer me a job in the kitchen rolling spring rolls. Ha ha! I kinda suck at it! I value lovely presentation as much as the next person, but I kinda missed the mark here. Ha ha. Well, no worries, they were still good. It was fun making my own fresh spring rolls, and I love using all fresh, local and organic ingredients. Nonetheless, these little babies were not nearly as magically delicious as the fresh spring rolls I can get within about 5 minutes from my house. Hmmm. I'm torn between working on my recipe, or just running out again for more fresh spring rolls!

12 comments:

  1. I love thai spring rolls! My friend actually made some for me a few weeks ago and until then I'd never had them homemade. Yours look delicious, regardless of the wrapping

    ReplyDelete
  2. Imperfection is part of the charm of spring rolls!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would eat your spring rolls! I heart that peanut sauce as well. Your rolls look so great. I have the same problem, torn between making them myself or going to the takeout place!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mmm I love making spring rolls! My boyfriend's mom is Laotian, so she taught me how to roll them perfectly. I swear I could eat like six of those rolls in one sitting. Good stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love making spring rolls but they do take a little practice. Very soon you will be making them like a pro. ;-) I think of them as salad you eat with your hands.

    Ali

    ReplyDelete
  6. Rollin'! Rollin'! Rollin' up a spring roll. Left a good job in the city....

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am with you on the love of Thai food! And I love rice paper rolls but I never think to make peanut sauce for them like you did, such a yummo idea!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cute post. It's important to acknowledge the "good try" endeavors as well as the fabulous successes. I'm sure they were tasty, even if cosmetically challenged. Mom

    ReplyDelete
  9. First of all; I don't think they look to bad. When I was about to make the same dish, all the rice papers dissolved for some reason and I had to eat the filling plan. That was very disappointing indeed.

    Second; I always like to try making the things I would normally buy, and most of them I will continue to make myself because it's most often easy and more tasty than the ready bought product. But sometime, you just have to realize that is was fun, but it's not worth it. If that's the case here, don't feel bad about having your spring rolls made for you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your spring rolls look a lot like my spring rolls! They are not the prettiest things to make but they sure are delicious - have you tried the mango summer rolls from Vegan with a Vengeance? Soo good.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous5:56 AM

    nice presentation of Springrolls

    ReplyDelete
  12. These look gorgeous, I discovered Vietnamese food in China but definitely need to try more!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, they really make my day!