The Flaming Vegan

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Crispy Vegan Spring Rolls
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Crispy Vegan Spring Rolls

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.


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  1. SnakeWitch
    My house will smell like ginger? I'M IN! Ha ha! Love this recipe. I adoooooooore spring rolls. Now, if only I could hunt down the spring roll pastry... it's already hard enough to find some specialty items here in Colombia, but on top of that, to find them vegan? Yikes! Maybe I'll just try to make this Colombian-style and make them into empanadas... it shouldn't be too different. It'll still have that Asian zing to it. Voted!
    1. kristo
      Thanks! A Colombian-style spring roll-empanada sounds amazing! I've had pizza inside a spring roll and it was really good. Thanks for the vote :)
      1. SnakeWitch
        Sounds like a mix of cultures allright - your thai and chinese and whatever else you are doing here, and my colombian stuff... it's almost an international dish in itself!
  2. Roopam
    I've had vegetarian spring rolls with cabbage and green leaves....and love them hot and crispy...but I really like your recipe idea...great filling...voted!
    1. kristo
      Thanks Roopam :)
    2. kristo
      Thanks Roopam :)
  3. Veganara
    Vote no 8, they sound delicious! I have had vegan "duck" pancakes (made from soya), these sound just as good. Check out my recent blog, Breakfast Bagels with Spicy Fruit Compote, and if you like it, please vote.
    1. kristo
      Thanks, Veganara! I LOVE LOVE LOVE vegan duck! the texture is so fun. I posted a recipe a while back for vegan calamari, which is based on the buddhist vegan duck recipe. I will check out your bagel recipe.


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