Eggrolls & Asian Appetizers Roundup!

Eggrolls are a popular Asian appetizer but it’s also found in American contemporary cuisine filled with various flavor combinations. Today, my friends and I got together to learn more about eggrolls by spending the afternoon rolling some with an assortment of fillings! For my eggroll adventure, I provided several different kinds of fillings including:
ground beef seasoned with southwestern seasoning,
multi-colored bell peppers, black beans, corn, mexican cheese blend

ground italian sausage seasoned with italian seasoning,
romano cheese, parmesan cheese, spinach, italian cheese blend
ground beef, garlic, onion, ginger, hoisin sauce, tofu, scallions
Vietnamese shrimp rolls:
shrimp, vermicelli noodles, Thai basil, mint, cilantro, bean sprouts

Gourmet: ground beef, caramelized onion, blue cheese, bacon, garlic, artichokes
Dessert: apple cinnamon cream cheese & sweet plantains

Here are pictures from the event:

For lunch to round out the meal, I also served up:

Bamboo Infused Rice

Shrimp Springroll Salad:
Sweet & Sour Meatballs:

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

To join in the fun, my fellow bloggers have submitted Asian appetizer recipes. As I do with each blogging event I host, a lucky blogger receives a giveaway related to the food theme. This event’s winner is Tammy of My Little World! Tammy will be receiving a Basting Brush (to help with future lumpia making) and a bar board/knife set compliments of Pampered Chef. Congratulations Tammy and thanks to all that participated in the blogging event! Read on to check out the recipes submitted by my fellow bloggers…

Tammie of My Little World
from Ohio
Filipino Lumpia
Tammie takes me back to my childhood with her post on Filipino Lumpia. I grew up making these with my mom where it was a grand production that was sometimes labor intensive. Check out Tammie’s blog for the great recipe and a how to instruction on rolling them up!

Carrie of Carrie in the Kitchen
from Virginia
Lettuce Wrap Chicken Satay
Looking for something healthy asian appetizer? Not all asian appetizers are fried so check out Carrie’s blog for a Lettuce Wrap Chicken Satay. It’s perfect for those who are watching their carbs (like me)!

Heather of The Shannon’s Kitchen
from Florida
Crab Rangoons
Heather tempts me with her crab rangoons! I don’t think I can ever go to a Chinese restaurant without ordering these babies to whet my appetite before my entree comes. Check out Heather’s blog for the recipe!
Jennifer of Jenn & Food, Perfect Together
from Piscataway, NJ
Chicken & Shrimp Dumplings (Shu Mai)
Jennifer breaks in her new bamboo steamer by making these tasty pouches of goodness! She even provides some tips and hints in using a bamboo steamer. Check out Jennifer’s blog for details and the recipe for her dumplings!
Bridget of The Way the Cookie Crumbles
from Philadelphia, PA
Summer Rolls
Bridget shares with us her beautiful spring rolls! They are one of my favorite type of asian appetizers because it’s fresh, light and filling. Check out Bridget’s blog for her fabulous pictures and recipe!
Alex of Eating Leeds
from Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK
Salt & Pepper Squid
Alex got me hungry reading her submission to the Asian Appetizer’s blogging event. I happen to love Salt & Pepper Squid! Check out her blog for the recipe!

Ramki of One Page Cookbooks
from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Ramki shares with us some information on parathas, which are Indian are non-leavened flatbreads. Check out her blog for some great information and varation to this popular Indian appetizer!

Vietnamese/Filipino Specialities

Arygle is a bustling neighborhood in the city of Chicago that offers an array of Vietnamese cuisine & culture. We started my Vietnamese ethnic food tour with a Vietnamese lunch at Pho 777 (a personal favorite). Here, we feasted on a family style meal including the following Vietnamese dishes:Canh Chua Ca (Hay Tom) – Choice of catfish or jumbo shrimp cooked in tamarind and lemon-leaf flavored broth

Goi Ca– Slices of cucumber, celery, shredded carrots, and mint combined with thin slices of white fish fillet and topped with a sweet & sour dressing, caramelized shallots and crushed peanuts. Ca Hong Chien Mam Toi – a whole red snapper deep fried to perfection and topped with chopped green pepper & garlic sauce, served on a bed of lettuce and sliced tomatoes Ga Xao Xa Ot– sliced chicken breast sauted in a spicy lemongrass sauce

Bo Xao Sate – Sliced beef stir fried with diced onion in a spice satay sauce

Tom Thit Ram Man – marinated tender pork & shrimps slowly braised

Cai Lan Xao Dau Hao– Chinese broccoli stir fried with crushed garlic and oyster sauce

Afterwards, we picked up some dessert at the bakery across the street called La Patisserie and went to some nearby grocery stores like Trung Viet & Viet Hoa to browse and/or buy some Southeast Asian groceries.

Here are pics of some of the asian goodies (not necessarily Vietnamese) I picked up today:

Salt & Vinegar Chips
(a fave snack imported from the Philippines)
Shrimp Flavored Chips
(another childhood snack we both love)
Mango Cream Sandwich Cookies
(another Philippine import snack)
Pad Thai Noodles & Sauce
(an new item for me to test out)
Thin Wonton Noodles
(perfect for Chinese Noodle Soups)
Soup Mixes
(these give a great depth of flavor and texture)
Fried Garlic
(which I use in soups for additional flavor)
Filipino BBQ Marinade
(which I love using with fish like salmon & tilapia!)
Fresh Chinese Broccoli
(wonderful steamed and then sauteed in garlic)
Lychee Frozen Fruit Bars
(my husband’s fave fruit dessert)

Pho Gettaboutit…

Tonight, dinner plans were a bit rushed as we had errands to do. Originally, plans were to take advantage of some good eats at a neighborhood Irish Pub. However we ended up in the neighborhood of Argyle St. and Broadway St. (sometimes called “North Chinatown” or “New Chinatown“, though the neighborhood is heavily Vietnamese).

We hit up our fave Vietnamese restaurant, Tank Noodle. This place serves the best Pho in Chicago… so naturally, we ordered the #40 ~ Pho: Beef Noodle Soup with sliced beef, well done brisket, well done flank steak, soft tendon, bible tripe and beef meatball.

Phở is served as a bowl of white rice noodles in clear beef broth, with thin cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). Variations featuring tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken leg, chicken breast, or other chicken organs (heart, liver, etc.) are also available.

The broth is generally made by boiling beef (and sometimes also chicken) bones, oxtails, flank steak, and spices, and takes several hours to prepare. Spices include Saigon cinnamon, star anise, ginger, cloves, and sometimes also black cardamom.

The noodles, called bánh phở in Vietnamese, are traditionally cut from wide sheets of fresh rice noodles, although dried noodles (also called “rice sticks”) may also be used.

The dish is garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions, cilantro or coriander leaves, ngo gai (“saw leaf herb”), mint, basil lemon or lime, bean sprouts and chile or jalapeno peppers. The last four items are usually provided on a separate plate, which allows folks to adjust the soup’s flavor as they like. Some sauces such as hoisin sauce fish sauce, and the Thai hot sauce Sriracha, are popular additions as well.