Monday, October 18, 2010

Tofu Spring Rolls (Chả Giò Chay)

Before leaving Montréal, we had dinner at my mom's. We took advantage of the beautiful September evening to dine outside. I thought that my boyfriend A should be introduced to Vietnamese food, and more specifically rolling food in rice paper. My mom made my fave nem nướng (Vietnamese pork meatballs).

For a vegetarian option for my boyfriend A, she also made chả giò chay. Chả giò chay simply translates to vegetarian spring roll. Therefore, the filling could be made out of anything, as long as there is no meat. My mom's version uses tofu to replace meat. The remaining ingredients are the exact same she would use for the meat version (which I still don't have a recipe here on my blog...).

Vegetarian food and vegetarian versions of Vietnamese dishes are actually quite easy to find in Vietnam because of the Buddhists who do not eat meat. The most strict ones do not eat meat at any time, and the more lax ones will not eat meat during specific periods, following the lunar calendar (sort of, but not really, equivalent to fasting for Lent, or for Catholics abstaining from meat on Fridays during the old days). Anyway, just to say that vegetarian food is easy to come by in Vietnam, and there are even vegetarian buffets during these periods.

Tofu Spring Rolls

Tofu Spring Rolls (Chả Giò Chay)
The ingredients in the filling can be adjusted to your liking. Another common ingredient found in vegetarian spring rolls is taro.

* 500 g of pressed (or firm) tofu
* 1 little bunch (37.5 g) bean thread noodles, soaked and drained
* 1 handful of nấm mèo (wood ear mushrooms), soaked and drained
* 2 small carrots, grated
* ½ onion, minced or diced very small
* 1-½ tsp salt
* ¼ tsp pepper
* 1-½ package (or more) spring roll wrappers of your choice
* oil for deep frying

Soak and drain bean thread noodles and wood ear mushroom.
Place the noodles and mushrooms in a bowl, and roughly cut the noodle and mushrooms with scissors.
Mash the tofu with a fork of if it is too firm, blend the tofu until it forms a crumbly texture.
Add the tofu to the bowl, with the grated carrot, salt and pepper.
Add 1-2 tsp of the filling on to the wrapper.
Roll the filling into a spring roll (refer to ram bắp - corn spring rolls post for pictorial.)
Heat up oil. You can test it by adding a spring roll - the oil is hot enough if there are little bubbles.
Deep fry each spring rolls.

Pressed Tofu Crumbled Tofu
Pressed tofu and crumbled up.

Tofu Mixture Tofu Filling on a Wrapper
Vegetarian spring roll mixture and placed onto spring roll wrapper.

Rolling Spring Rolls Ready to be fried
Ready to be deep fried!

Try out this recipe and I'm sure most won't even realize there is not meat! It's deep fried with a tasty filling. What else do you need?

Tofu Spring Rolls

For another spring roll recipe:
* Corn Spring Rolls (Ram Bắp)


Valerie said...

Wow, I'm so impressed that you made these! They look amazing! Great job.


Anonymous said...

the Springrolls looks amazing!