The recipe was strictly average, as tasty as spring rolls typically are but nothing out of the ordinary. As for the person who questions the presence of MSG in a 300 year old recipe, you're right... mostly. Crystalline MSG was not invented until the early 20th century, when a Japanese researcher isolated it from konbu seaweed, but the compound is nothing but the sodium salt of glutamate, one of the most common naturally-occurring amino acids (sorry about the chemistry lecture). Soy, tomatoes, seaweed, and many other foods are rich in glutamates, too. So yes, you are right. Ms. Ling's ancestors did not whip out the Accent to make spring rolls, but the salt may have been a stand-in or substitute for another glutamate-containing ingredient. It's as anachronistic as using powdered citric acid as a substitute for lemon juice. I have a harder time believing that a person who lived 300 years ago would have used that much oil (a very, very expensive ingredient) to fry up something to go with tea.
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The recipe was strictly average, as tasty as spring rolls typically are but nothing out of the...