For kids, the rice and vegetable roll made by the granny who has been on this business for over 20 years has become their comfort food, since we first went to Fongyuan Dist inTaichung for the game of "go". Until now, we've been back and forth between Taichung and Fongyuan for almost a year.
Actually, rice and vegetable rolls, just like green onion pancakes, are such a popular street food all around Taiwan. Back to not a long time ago, we still treated it as a choice of breakfast. But, In recent years, the roll usually in a plastic bag has been served on not only the breakfast table, but also the brunch, the lunch, and even the dinner. Besides, it averagely costs not much, around 25 to 35 NTD per roll.
Inside a rice and vegetable roll always are dried pork flakes, pickled, minced, and dry radish(sometimes you can choose it spicy or not), half of a brown egg, and a most important ingredient of the filling to create a tempting crispy taste of the rice roll, a fried bread stick.
Put some rice on the cloth enclosed by a plastic bag, the granny makes an indent in the center, place all of the filling, and then close the rice around the filling. In most cases, a rice roll street vendor would choose glutinous rice to make it easier to stick all the filling close together, for the filling is not to be loose as customers enjoy the roll. The rice and vegetable roll made by the granny, however, tastes not only al dente but not easily loose apart, the rice she uses is penglai rice or the ordinary rice we Taiwanese eat in three meals. The reason she chose penglai rice, she told me, is that the glutinous rice causes gas pain in the stomach of people easily, especially to people who have stomach trouble.