Spring rolls are a common snack throughout southeast Asia consisting of vegetables (and sometimes meat and fish) rolled in a pastry. Here in Indonesia, they are known as “lumpia” and are almost always vegan, but are often lacking in flavour. One day after ordering a spring roll at a local restaurant I was determined to recreate this snack, but packed with flavour. A flavour bomb!
I came up with this recipe which is based on a Vietnamese-Thai version of the dish (more flavourful than the Indonesian version but it contains meat) which replaces pork with textured vegetable protein (TVP). The TVP looks and feels like ground meat, but no souls were injured in the making.
When buying spring roll wrappers, read the ingredients first! Some include eggs, and some don’t.
There is an exotic addition of ginger flower in this recipe which has a very strong flavour, that tastes unlike regular ginger. You can sometimes find them in Asian grocery stores, and if you can, please use it!
This recipe will make about 20 spring rolls.
1 cup bean sprouts
1 carrot, julienned
1 scallion, chopped
1 cup vermicelli
2 inch knob ginger, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1 chilli pepper, chopped
½ cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
3 tablespoons ginger flower/stem, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
oil for frying
1 package *vegan spring roll pastry
Boil vermicelli until soft, drain and set aside. In a separate pot, combine all other ingredients excluding the spring roll pastry and frying oil and sauté for twenty minutes so that the flavours can mature. Your house will smell like ginger. Add the vermicelli and toss everything together.
Place two to three tablespoons of this mixture onto a spring roll pastry and roll. Fry each spring roll in a lightly oiled frying pan until golden brown. Optionally, you can bake the spring rolls until golden brown. If baking, the outside will become very crispy and similar texture to a potato chip. Serve with sweet chilli sauce, or your favourite dipping sauce.