Friday, August 15, 2008

Go for Gold! Or Green!

Whew - I'm gonna take a quick break from writing my talk for a church related event this Sunday to tell you about the prize for our Chinese Food Olympic Event that ends one week from today! So before I said that I would choose something Chinese for the prize but I wanted to give something that would be usable more often than times you might eat Chinese food (unless you are me and that might be a few times a week). I decided to go 'green' and offer up something cute to boot.... So without further ado, I present to you, the gold medal prize for the Chinese Food Olympics: your choice of one (1) reusable/compact/lightweight grocery bag from the Envirosax Mikado series pictured below. Thanks to la fuji mama for the idea and recommendation. These have more of a Japanese look but they, as with most things nowadays, are Made in China so we're good.
Again, you get to pick which one of these your little heart desires if you are the lucky Olympian whose name will be drawn by judge Aedan and just to be fair we will be excluding ourselves from the drawing. Aedan does take bribes in the form of cows milk, Disney Cars toys, or Wii games (still no Wii Fit! Arrggghh). So check out my previous post for the food event rules and email me before midnight of the closing ceremonies. I have to tell you we have been enjoying the many official (and our non-official) events and I'm still flipping out over Phelp's wins. Incredible.

To give you a taste of what we've been cooking up over here, I will show you our adventures in Spring Rolls last week:
The filling makes a yummy addition to stir-fried noodles as well. I could eat this stuff straight up.
Don't waste your time with the wraps you get at your local grocer - they soak up oil and lack the elasticity or when cooked, the light crispiness that these ones have. I got these at our local asian grocery and it comes frozen. Keep it frozen until maybe the day you plan to use them. When you do use them, keep them under a damp cloth while you are wrapping spring rolls so they do not dry out.
People think these need to be fat - keep them tight, small, skinny, and I like to make mine on the flat side so that they are easier to turn when frying. They seal up nicely with plain water. This is origami at it's finest right here...
I promoted my fabulous dishwasher to a temp cooking position. This is a rare sight so I had to take a picture :) To save ourselves from a deep-fried smelling home, we used the range on our outdoor grill to heat up the oil and it worked nicely. Neal was even able to slip a couple spring rolls through the fence to our neighbors...
And the results were tasty goodness wrapped in a crispy packet of bliss.
And Sweet and Sour Sauce for a condiment. Really, it is almost embarrassing to tell you how simple this is. I'll later post another recipe using this sauce.

Spring Rolls
Half of head of medium-finely shredded cabbage
3 or 4 carrots, peeled, trimmed, and shredded
4 or 5 cups bean sprouts (look for firm, white, crisp ones)
1 lb ground pork
sesame oil
soy sauce
salt and pepper
40 spring roll shells, thawed (almost 2 packages)
canola oil for frying

In a wok, brown ground pork in a couple tablespoons of sesame oil. Drain the grease and cook further with a couple tablespoons of soy sauce - you don't want excess liquid here, just enough to lightly flavor the meat. Set aside to cool.

Stir fry the cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, salt and pepper to taste, in a couple tablespoons of sesame oil. You are going for a light stir-fry (a few minutes) with the vegetables still crunchy, not limp. Remove from heat, mix with the pork, and put mixture in a colander to drain the liquids. Let cool in the refrigerator completely (still in the colander with a bowl underneath to catch liquids) for a couple hours or even overnight.

Fill and fold wraps, sealing them off with water. Fry in oil, making sure to turn for even cooking. Remove from oil when it is an even golden brown. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve hot with sauce on the side.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
from Chinese Cooking Made Easy by Wei Chuan's Cookbook
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 tsp. salt
1 T. cornstarch
a few drops of red food coloring

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat until boiling, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


  1. Those rolls really were great. Especially compared to that italian food that made someone throw up.

    Another great job on the blog redesign. You should direct the next Olympic opening ceremonies.

  2. mmmmm. This looks so good! I would love to try these out! Thanks!

  3. Lindon GrandmaAugust 18, 2008

    You look like a pro, Neal! Add that to your resume: egg/spring roll flipper. You can make them in my "kitchen" anytime.

    Jackie, baba kept talking about spring rolls at home. Now I know where he got the idea.


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