Updated: Sep 3, 2020
I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to have spring rolls during the pandemic. I've missed Vietnamese food so much but I've been weary about eating out too often. I was holding back on making these for two specific reasons: 1. I was avoiding making a 30 minute drive to the Asian market 2. I didn't know how to make an authentic peanut dipping sauce. One, that was as good as what they serve at the Vietnamese restaurants. So, I did my research and made one. I'm so happy I did because now I can have spring rolls any time. I am pretty happy with my sauce. :)
This is commonly filled with vermicelli but to save on carbs I omitted it. Give it a try. Recipe down below.
Warning, the fresh garlic is potent, so have breath mints handy.
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: undetermined but will make you 12+ rolls for sure
Sauce Servings: makes about 1/2 cup or 1-2 servings
INGREDIENTS: (for spring rolls)
Rice paper (square or round is fine although round is more commonly used)
Extra firm or firm tofu (I used extra firm) - pan fried and cut into thin strips . Reference image above
Greens (any mixed greens will do. I used butter lettuce mix. But whole leaf romaine with the spine removed is commonly used as well.
Carrots - sliced into thin sticks or shredded is fine
Cucumber - cut into long strips. Reference image above
Chives -- optional
Veggie ham -- optional but will boost the flavor by quite a bit. You can buy this at the Asian market usually in a roll like luncheon meat in the frozen section. It's has sugar, which isn't verifiably vegan so you can opt to skip if you'd like. Or you can try using some Tofurky ham
INGREDIENTS: (for peanut sauce )
4 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp water
1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar or the juice of 1/2 a small lemon (try 2-3 tbsp)
2 - 3 tsp hoison sauce approx . More will result in sweeter flavor. (This is an essential ingredient. It's has sugar, which isn't verifiably vegan so you can opt to skip if you'd like but the sauce won't taste nearly as good)
1 tsp soy sauce approx
1 - 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (less if you don't love garlic)
Small sprinkle of salt to taste
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Asian chilli sauce or Siracha paste to taste (I used chilli oil crisps but the chilli sauce with vinegar is often used). This will be mild level spicyness so omit if you don't like heat.
OPTIONAL: 1 tsp approx of fermented soybean paste (for deeper, more salty umami flavor)
OPTIONAL: crushed peanuts for sprinkling
*Adjust portions to your personal taste.
Make the peanut sauce: In a sauce bowl combine all the ingredients with a whisk, fork, blender, or food processor. Mix well and set aside. Add more water if too thick. Adjust thickness to your liking. I like mine more on thin side or the consistency of pancake or crepe batter, not thick like a pudding. Taste it and adjust all to your liking. Sprinkle some crushed peanuts on top if you'd like.
Assemble the spring roll: Fill a bowl with warm water and set aside. On a flat work surface or plate lay one rice paper down. Dip your fingers in the water and spread the water around thoroughly to dampen the rice paper. Do this to both sides. Add a layer of lettuce, tofu, cucumbers, carrots, mint, veggie ham, and chives. Roll tightly, tucking in the edges, the way you would roll a burrito. While rolling, add in some chives with about 1 1/2" sticking out from the roll for decorative effect and added flavor. You have to work fast to fill the rolls because it gets soggy, sticky, and difficult to handle very quickly. Try to do this in under 1-2 minutes.
Here are some additional things to try if you feel like getting fancy. Some places will fry up some eggroll paper (rolled up into a skinny stick) and fill the spring rolls with it for some added crunch and savoryness. You can also try adding some crushed pineapple into the peanut sauce for more complexity. :)
Enjoy your spring rolls! Snap a pic for the gram and tag me @jengo.daily or #jengo.daily . See you next time!
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