It’s Memorial Day! The old timers called it Decoration Day. Whatever we call it, it’s a day to remember all those men and women who served to protect out freedom. Thank you to those who served.
For many years the church we were members of in Watertown, SD held an annual Nordfest which included traditional Scandinavian food. It wasn’t until we got a different pastor who put a little pressure on those in charge to make it more inclusive and invite people of other descents to also participate by providing their native dishes.
Gwen Peshman, another church member, was born and raised in Vietnam. She met and eventually married an American GI who served in Vietnam. For many years Gwen had wanted to provide Eggrolls but was always told that if it was not Scandinavian it could not be served. With the change to Nordfest Plus, Gwen and the rest of us of other descents could finally also provide our specialties.
Gwen invited those of us who wanted to learn how to make Vietnamese Eggrolls to attend a workshop where we could learn her techniques as well as make hundreds of eggrolls for Nordfest Plus. I was one who took her up on the offer. After about 2 hours of rolling I began to chuckle. Gwen asked what was so funny. I told her that back in 1970 while I was stationed in Fort Ord learning how to fight her people that if someone had told me that someday I would be cooking with a Vietnamese woman I would have vigorously disputed that statement. She got a big chuckle herself out of that. Here is her recipe for her authentic Vietnamese Eggrolls. They truly provide a foodgasm!!!
5 c. ground pork
5 c. ground chicken or turkey
2 c. bean thread (soak in water for 15 minutes)
1 c. black bean fungus mushrooms (soak in water for 30 minutes then cut into 1 inch long pieces)
2 large onions sliced thin
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper
1 egg beaten
2 packages spring roll wraps
Combine all ingredients except egg. Place a wrapper on large plate and spread 2 tbsp. of the meat mixture. Starting with the edge, roll the two edges to the right and left of the mixture toward each other until they are snug against the roll of meat. Continue to roll the wrapper until it becomes a tight cylinder. Seal the edge of the wrapper to the roll with a little beaten egg. Deep fry until golden brown and drain on paper towel.
Keep your fork