Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Girl Worth Fighting For

I'm jumping ahead to the new era of Disney animation, that began with The Little Mermaid in the 1980's.  Disney animation was totally revitalized at this time, with the introduction of great musical numbers and comedic styling that really helped invigorate the brand. And of course, you got the whole "Disney Princess" thing.

Mulan is almost an anti-Princess Disney heroine.  She goes off to war against the Huns to defend her country and her family's honor.  Lots of cross dressing. Donny Osmond and Eddie Murphy!  Action! Explosions!  Avalanches!  Woot!
Hey, baby.  How you doin'?
And then, there's food.  Well, not a whole lot in the movie.  But it's China - and goodness knows, Chinese food is one of my family's favorites!
Eat up, girl!
Today's recipe in honor of Mulan is for my family's favorite homemade Egg Rolls.  Enjoy!


1 package vegan egg roll or spring roll wrappers
4 chicken-style seitan cutlets
Steamed white rice
Peanut oil
Vegetable broth
Agave nectar or maple syrup
Soy sauce
Salt and pepper
Optional:  sliced & diced veggies like carrot, onion, celery, mushroom, etc.
Oil for frying

Cut the seitan into bite sized pieces.  Heat a couple tablespoons of peanut oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.  Saut√© the vegetables until softened.  Add in the seitan and continue cooking until slightly browned.  Stir in a little stock and continue cooking.  Add salt, pepper, and agave or maple syrup (a couple tablespoons or so) to pan and continue cooking.  You can also add some soy sauce at this point if desired.  Add enough broth to the pan to not quite cover the filling.  Add about two cups of steamed rice to the pan and stir well.  Add more broth if necessary so that the whole mixture is kind of juicy.  In a small bowl, combine a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch with about a quarter cup of cold water.  Pour into seitan mixture and stir well; the mixture should thicken up pretty quickly.  Remove the pan from the heat.

Set up a station to prepare the eggrolls:  You will need a small bowl of cornstarch/water mixture, the eggroll wrappers, the filling, and a tray for the finished rolls.  Set a wrapper on the surface in front of you with one corner pointing towards you.  Put about a half cup of filling in the center of the wrapper.  Using a spoon or your fingers, lightly brush some of the cornstarch/water mixture around the edges of the wrapper.  Bring the top corner (farthest away from you) over the top of the filling and lightly press the point down.  Fold the sides in next.  You can add more cornstarch/water to the wrapper where needed to get it to stick to itself.  Then roll the whole eggroll towards you.  If you shape the roll with your hands as you go, you should end up with a long, rectangular/oval shape.  Set the finished eggroll on the tray and continue making eggrolls until you use up all the filling.  When you put the eggrolls on the tray, make sure they don’t touch or they will stick together.  You may also want to turn them over occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan.

In a large stockpot, wok or Dutch oven, heat an inch or two of vegetable oil over medium/medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, gently lower about three or four eggrolls into the oil.  Cook until golden brown and bubbly (a couple minutes or so per side), turning once.  Drain on a paper towel lined platter.  Serve while hot.

I don't know about you, but I can't find vegan egg roll wrappers here.  Spring roll wraps work fine!
Seitan added to sauteed veggies
Rice, veggies, and seitan, thickened with cornstarch slurry
Oh yeah.  Fried goodness!

1 comment:

  1. Love Mulan! I'll have to give these egg rolls a try; they look great! :)