In case you didn’t pick it up from my profile photo, I happen to be of Asian descent. My family originated from China, but my parents and grandparents spent a good portion of their lives in Vietnam, so I grew up with influences from both cultures. Besides all my fancy baby clothes from Chinatown, I also lucked out in the cuisine department and have tried so many different Chinese-Vietnamese fusion foods.
One of my all-time favorite dishes is spring rolls, which are eaten in a few different Asian countries. Now that I have gone flexi-vegan, spring rolls have also been a handy part of my food arsenal because they can be easily customized to fit any dietary preference. I also love that you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand. I usually keep a stack of rice paper rolls and some noodles on hand and make these whenever I have vegetables I need to use up.
Here’s the breakdown of the basic spring roll:
- Rice paper rolls (Asian or ethnic food section of grocery store. Around $4 for a pack of 40 or 50)
- Cooked noodles: rice noodles are most common. I used Japanese soba noodles. Spaghetti also works. About two cups is enough for 10-15 rolls, depending on how much you put in each roll.
- Green vegetables or herbs: Great for added nutrition and makes the dish more filling. My mom uses mint and basil. I used a spring mix of spinach because that’s what was in my fridge.
- Protein: I used tofu as my vegan option. I marinated mine (recipe below) and kept it raw, but bake or stir-fry yours if you want more texture.
- Just for kicks: sliced avocado (surprise!)
- Optional add-ins: carrots, cilantro, green onions, crushed peanuts or cashews, red peppers.
- Sauce: I made an avocado sriracha sauce (recipe below), but any combo of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sririacha, sesame oil, or peanut butter will pair well. I also like adding crushed nuts for some crunch.
Recipe: Marinated Tofu
- 1 block of firm or extra firm tofu
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sriracha or Asian chili paste
- 1 tablespoon agave or honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Drain and cube tofu.
- Mix remaining ingredients and pour over tofu. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Use raw, or stir-fry until golden, or bake in over for 15 minutes at 350 degrees for a crisp texture.
Now, for the sauce. I balanced out spicy sriracha sauce using avocados.
Recipe: Avocado Sriracha Sauce
- 1/2 avocado, mashed
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon of hoisin or soy sauce
- Sesame seeds or crushed nuts for serving
- Combine all ingredients together. Season with salt to taste. Thin with water to desired consistency.
Instructions for assembly: