It's officially week 2 of fasting for Ramadan and the cravings for coffee have now subsided. That is to say, the loud voice in my head chanting, "Coffee, Coffee, Coffee" has now quieted to a whisper. That's probly cause the voice is tired and wishes it had some, well, coffee. That is why I'm surprised when I hear people say things like, "I'm completely at peace during Ramadan." Really? You are completely at peace, not having had your morning coffee, in an office with ten frantic attorneys, twenty ringing phones, and at least three crying babies? Mmm hmm. And I'm P Diddy. Wait, is he still calling himself P Diddy?
Don't get me wrong. There is something inherently peaceful about Ramadan. When I'm at home, especially early in the mornings when the sun is shining through the window and the world is completely silent, I feel at peace. I know that my fasting is teaching me to empathize with the plight of millions who have no food and water. It is slowly convincing me to to rely on faith instead of material possessions. But in the Grand Central Station that is my workplace, it is excruciatingly difficult to hang on to that peace. And so, I concentrate on my evening snack. Because I'm pious like that.
The snack (or iftar) is intended to be a mere morsel of food, generally a date, to break the fast. It is designed to be light to enable those fasting to offer their evening prayer and then return to the table for dinner. Pakistanis, not content to leave well enough alone, generally serve a giant platter of fried goodies for iftar. Everything from samosas to pakoras. And thank God for that, because really, after a whole day of not eating, a date just ain't gonna cut it.
This year, the hubster and I were the beneficiaries of a giant sack of frozen samosas, courtesy of his mom (affectionately referred to as Mom'inems). She said it was a Ramadan present but deep down, we knew she was worried we'd starve if left to fend for ourselves. And really, even though we're adults, we're perfectly ok mooching off Mom'inems food. In keeping with that theme, when we lived closer, we'd also take our laundry over to their house. Ah, adulthood. Good times, indeed.
Since we were set on the samosas front, this past weekend I set my eye on diversity and took a global approach to the Ramadan snack and decided to make a giant batch of egg rolls. Ok, so it wasn't motivated by diversity but rather, a stockpiling of food since I knew we'd have no time to cook during the week. The many steps, generally a terrible bother for someone as impatient as myself, were almost comforting.
I prepped my egg roll innards (carrots, cabbage, peppers, and bean thread noodles), seasoned the mixture, and rolled roll after roll. I carefully dried 'em in the refrigerator and lovingly froze them in a giant ziploc bag.
So when things are particularly chaotic at work and the voice in my head has resumed the coffee chant, I think about my eggs rolls, patiently waiting in my freezer. And suddenly, I'm at peace.
1 package (25 count) rice wrappers
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup green peppers, thinly sliced
1/4 package bean thread noodles
1 chicken breast, diced
2 tbs. hoisin sauce
2 tbs. oyster sauce
Sriracha, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Squeeze shredded carrots in paper towel to get rid of the excess carrot juices. Soak bean thread noodles in hot water until they're pliable. Lightly saute all veggies so they're tender-crisp. Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook in a separate pan and shred when cool.
Mix veggies, noodles, and shredded chicken in large bowl. Add sauces. Give your delicious mixture a taste. Stop yourself from eating the entire bowl of spring roll innards.
Peel off one rice wrapper. Keep the remainder of the wrappers under a damp towel so they do not dry out. Spoon 3-4 tbs. of filling on each wrapper. Repeatedly watch YouTube that shows you how to fold the egg roll. Wonder why a man who keeps burning his spring rolls has 50,000 views on his video. Fold all spring rolls and place on cookie sheet. Refrigerate until dry so they do not stick to each other when freezing. Freeze in a ziploc. Alternatively, you can wrap each spring roll in wax paper and freeze immediately.
Deep fry egg rolls when hungry (or alternatively, when the sun sets). Eat two for a snack. Or many more than two for a delicious meal.