Zen Culinary chef/owner Rachel McAuley’s veggie egg rolls are crisp and delish.
Zen Culinary owner and chef Rachel McAuley wants her vegan, vegetarian and gluten-intolerant guests to know that almost everything on her Asian fusion menu can be modified to meet their needs. All you have to do is ask, she says. So while you’re perusing the tidy menu for ideas, order some crispy veggie rolls ($8), an eight-piece vegan appetizer cloaked in a lighter-than-air gluten-free rice wrap.
To prepare, McAuley mixes thinly sliced cabbage, carrot strings and glass noodles (made from green beans and potatoes) with gluten-free soy sauce, sugar, garlic and pepper, then marinates the ingredients overnight. When assembling the rolls, she places a dollop of the mixture on the rice wrap, folds the corners to secure and flash-fries them in vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes until they emerge golden brown.
Because fried veggie rolls beg for a dipping sauce, McAuley serves the crunchy bites with a tangy, house-made sweet-and-sour sauce highlighted by earthy Asian plum water tickled with sambal hot sauce. She squeezes a slender zigzag of fiery Asian mustard on the plate – just enough to give the veggie rolls a jolt. Dunk a few rolls in the mustard and you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of the menu. Yellow curry with tofu or vegetarian bánh mì sandwich? McAuley’s got your back.
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