Friday, August 20, 2010

Egg Rolls for Ramadan


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.



Egg Rolls


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. 

56 comments :

Vegetarian Zest said...

Lovely recipe.

Pam said...

Your egg rolls look delicious. I've never tried making them but will have to after seeing this!

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said...

Three of my fav sauces Sriracha, Oyster and Hoisin sauce. Its Got to be good. Ramadan Kareem!

Prerna@IndianSimmer said...

You've had me with that top picture :-)
I don't know why I'm always scared to try making egg rolls at home, maybe because all these Chinese restaurants have home delivery :-)

J+K said...

Your photography is wonderful! You're making my stomach growl from just looking at that pretty egg roll. And I love a recipe that makes me laugh!

Merut said...

These look so good. I love your pictures!

Ameena said...

Wait...there are literally crying babies at your office? Or are these adult babies you are referring to?

I'm not completely at peace during Ramadan either. I'm sure you've already guessed that though. But I have to admit that this year is going much better than expected!

Have a great weekend Azmia and enjoy your delicious egg rolls!!

The Mom Chef said...

Those look outstanding. I'm a huge Sriracha fan. I'm learning a ton from you about Ramadan too. Thank you for "journaling" your way through this with us.

fortheloveofyum said...

I'm trying to stay off fried food, but I sure do love it!

Your eggrolls could compete with an Aunty's version and possibly win!

Thinking about eating brings me peace too! ;)

Sonia said...

those look awesome! Do you think they could be baked??
I saw your scallion pancake recipe too... the picture is mouthwatering and I started google-imaging other pictures of scallion pancakes and now I'm going to make them this week!
YUM.

Magic of Spice said...

Delightful egg rolls...Fantastic flavors :)

lequan@luvtoeat said...

I love that you used chicken in your egg rolls Azmina. Many of the egg rolls I've eaten have pork in them and i'm not a huge pork fan so eventually that deterred me from eating egg rolls unless I know there is absolutely no pork. Those are some great looking egg rolls!

After becoming a Mom, I've learned no matter what age we are, we'll always be our mommy's baby. So I feel no guilt taking food from them because that makes them happy. Lol. Have a wonderful weekend Azmina!

cookie said...

Who needs prayer beads when you have egg rolls in the freezer? MMM! Looks like a lovely recipe!

Stella said...

Yaa Salam! At peace...that's nice!
Ooh, I can't believe you work at a law firm & are doing Ramadan. I really admire that, and I know it's hard. I've tried (when I worked at a law firm actually) and I couldn't keep doing it. I'm not Muslim & I'm such a wuss. I was just trying to do it to be supportive to the part of my family that is Muslim. Maybe I'll try again next year...
These egg rolls sound like a great iftar to break the fast too (smile)!

redmenace said...

I cannot think of a better way to break a fast than these treats. Delicious! I think my baby likes them too because she started to kick my belly when I read this!

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...

YUM. Those look amazing.

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Vegetarian- Thanks!

Pam- It's truly shocking how easy they are. And they make a huge batch so it's geat to have them on standby.

Prerna- My pet peeve with delivery is that the rolls get soggy by the time they get to me. You have to try these. They even beat the delivery option :)

J&K- Thanks! Stomach growling is definitely an appropriate reaction.

Merut- Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words!

Ameena- Immigration clients tend to travel in families so there are real crying babies. And sometimes, some adult crying babies too :)

TheMomChef- It's actually been really great getting to share this month with blogging folks! Glad you're enjoying it too :)

Forthelove- Yeah, I'm not sure whether to be worried or pleased that I'm slowly making my way into Aunty territory :)

Sonia- I'm sure you could bake 'em. I'd spray them with non-stick spray beforehand just to get the browning action going. Let us know how they turn out! :)

Magic- Thanks!

LeQuan- I agree! If feeding us makes her happy, who am I to get in the way of that? ;)

Cookie- Maybe I can bring 'em for our next neighborly dinner! Or maybe you can make 'em as part of your best-group-dinner-idea-ever.

Stella- I didn't know you worked for a law firm or fasted! Yay for commonalities in the blogging world :)

redmenace- That is so cool! I could be like the Ghost Whisperer, except I'd be the baby whisperer!

Confessions- Thanks! At the risk of sounding immodest, Amazing is a pretty accurate description :)

Monet said...

I have so enjoyed hearing about your experiences with ramadan. I greatly admire your dedication. These egg rolls sound like a perfect way to break your fast. Crispy and delicious!

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Yep, I could pretty much just drink the dipping sauce and be happy! Looks great!

Jean said...

Beautiful egg rolls and thanks for the insight on Ramadan. I always have to remember to center my focus on non-wordly things but sometimes it's hard.

As always, love the tone of your posts. :-)

~Lisa~ said...

Oh my, I want a Mom'inems that gives me a bag full of samosas. Good lord woman, I hope the fasting is going well. And those egg rolls look delish! But just think of how delicious everything will taste once the religious holiday is over. Hang in there (=

Belinda @zomppa said...

It's a great to way to break the fast! A good reminder for our priorities.

We Are Not Martha said...

I write about celebrities for a living and every time I have to write about P. Diddy I have to look him up to find out what he's now calling himself. And I still cannot remember!

These look amazing :) And I'm quite impressed with your coffee break. I most definitely would not be at peace either!

Sues

the actor's diet said...

i love hearing about ramadan and making egg rolls sounds like a wonderful meal.

Kate said...

Azmina, those look fabulous. You've just about convinced me that I need to make my own - particularly since the ones we buy bear no resemblance to those fantastic bites!!!! Kate (kateiscooking.blogspot.com)

Eileen said...

Yum - those look so good. Peace be with you!

Baking Barrister said...

Us Jews, we break out fast during Yom Kippur with a massive meal. We don't get fried deliciousness. What the hell is up with that? Can I be Pakistani next year?

I'm also digging your egg roll recipe--they're looking really good despite tediousness (who am I kidding, I make wontons).

BTW--the fact that clients come to your office in families and that children are involved reminds me why I don't want to practice human-oriented law. Yeahh...

The Cilantropist said...

I really love the idea of freezing these for a hungry evening, I think I am definitely going to try it bc I am like you and many times just knowing I have something delicious in the freezer or fridge makes me feel soooo much better by the end of my day! And um, yes, after a day of fasting a date would not cut it for me. I would much rather have an egg roll thank you. :)

Subterfuge Diva said...

Azmina, I love your delicious-looking egg-rolls! Looking forward to your other dishes for breaking fast, we usually have something like 30 varieties.... Ok, kidding, but close!

If it makes you feel any better, hubby and I mooch from the ILs too, but only when offered. Guilty, for sure... But hey, we did give them grandkids!

An Open Book said...

oooh i recently made spring rolls and loved it so much esp the freezing bit..i can jus thaw some and fry it and its a perfect evening snack.
The rolling bit took a lil too much time but prob cos i was trying it out for the 1st time. The addition of noodles is a great idea..next time il try that.

Kristen said...

I haven't ever attempted egg rolls....pot stickers yes, egg rolls, no. I imagine the premise is the same, however your rolls look so perfectly assembled and mine? well, I can see the mess already.

Priyanka said...

These look delicious! When I fast, I am always stressed what if I taste the food I am cooking for the husband accidentally! May be a stupid question but did you bake'em or fry?

Speakeasy Kitchen said...

I, too, believe that the Rat Sauce is a necessity for egg rolls.

Az said...

yummy they are my fav!!! guess what.. you have won my giveaway!!!! send me your valid email @ desizayeka@gmail.com so that CSN can send over your prize... congratulations!!!

Mo said...

Azmina, thanks for coming to my blog so I could find yours! I love it! :)

I've always wanted to try making egg rolls and this recipe certainly makes it seem like a worthwhile thing to do! ;)

PS: I know it's really hard to tell because of my nickname, but I'm a girl. Just thought you should know. :P

Thanks again, and I loved your poem! <3

Bria West of Persia said...

For some reason, it never occurred to me to make my own eggrolls. Now it sounds so logical--yours look great. And yeah, why DOES that guy have so many views on his YouTube vid? Life is strange.

Cook with Madin said...

Great looking egg rolls. I admire your piousness. So sweet of your mother-in-law giving you samosas, love those too.

baking.serendipity said...

These egg rolls look delicious! They are one of my favorite treats. I'm so impressed that you've given up coffee! It's a serious struggle for me. The best I've done is give up "fast food" coffees, especially Starbucks during Lent. I always make it a few weeks and cave to the headaches!

Stella said...

Hey Azmina! F.B. Top 9 today-Yeah!

Lisa {Authentic Suburban Gourmet } said...

Congrats on the top 9! These look divine!!!

Nirmala said...

Nothing like fried goodness, especially when you're fasting. The best are homemade since I won't eat them out.

J+K said...

Food Buzz knows a great pic! Congrats!

Amy Kim said...

I truly enjoy your writing! Hmmm...fasting...always tough. Giving up caffeine?! You're a strong and faithful woman! ;-)

Amy
Www.amykim.com/whatsfordinner

Vinegarlic said...

These look delicious. I love to cook foods with ah lot of prep work during Ramadan too. Somehow cooking takes my mind off eating. Weird, right?

Cooking with Coley said...

These look SO yummy! Congrats on theTop 9!

4evaRisa said...

These look amazing. I just love egg rolls. Thanks for sharing.

Shirley said...

I'm so hungry looking at those egg rolls. And I'd never survive with just a date before dinner!

Anonymous said...

I agree early in the morning you do get a beautiful sense of peace but as the day goes on it seems like dinner is all that I can of.

Sprinkled with Flour said...

These look so good! Thanks for visiting my blog:)

Sana said...

I can pound some serious egg rolls post fasting!!!

For someone like me who eats every two hours I am doing really well! There is something special about this month :)!

Joanne said...

I have so much respect for your ability to do this...I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to!

The egg rolls look way more sufficient than a date...I mean really, who are they kidding with a tiny piece of dried fruit!

mysimplefood said...

Looks totally yummylicious. Have a blessed Ramadhan!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Girl - you are too funny :D Keep on chugging - the month will be up soon.....

Sarah@buttered-up.com said...

These look really good. I'm getting bored of cooking this Ramadan. I just can't seem to make anything enticing enough for me to gorge myself on at night. Haha. The kids and husband are gorging though. Most definitely. I hope Ramadan is treating you well enough though. Happy fried iftar snacks! Those really make a world of difference. :)

W Leung said...

Looks yummy! I liked the way you arranged the egg rolls for the photos too.

polwig said...

Love mooching off Momminess, those are the best times. I have no idea how you do without coffee every year for Ramadan. That was the hardest habit to give up for pregnancy.

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