When I was a young girl, growing up on a large farm in rural Australia, my Mum would make the majority of our dinners – and from what I can remember – they were delicious! She would bake amazing cakes and bread and often come up with new and interesting meals for me and my siblings to enjoy at dinner time and in our lunch-boxes the next day. (Of course there were on occasion, those odd looks we would get from other students when we pulled out a multi-grain bread sandwich smeared with liverwurst, which we loved – but this fatty pate which was a favourite among my German family, was understandably quite foreign to the other Aussie kids!)
My Dad, on the other hand was one of those cooks who just made stuff up as he went along. One night, though, he made a recipe for Thai spring rolls out of a cookbook we had lying around and they become such an instant hit with everyone that they even now take a very special place on our Christmas table every year. The recipe that follows is inspired by these spring rolls, yet not deep-fried and of course, veganised.
For the rolls:
- 1 packet rice paper wraps
- 1 block firm tofu, drained, pressed and chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 3 large carrots, grated
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 bunch of coriander
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 packet of rice vermicelli noodles
For the pesto:
- 1 really large bunch of fresh coriander
- 1/2 cup of raw peanuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, or more if needed
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
To make the pesto, combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until you have a smooth, lovely paste. It will smell amazing!
In a large wok or pan, heat the peanut oil on high heat. Add in the tofu and cook until it starts to turn golden – about 5 minutes or so. Now add in the ginger, garlic, carrots, onions, chilli and coriander and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring everything together.
Now, in a large bowl filled with hot water, soak the noodles for a few minutes until they are soft. Chop them roughly on a board and then add them to the pan. At this point you’ll want to drizzle over the sesame oil as well.
Once the mixture has cooked for a further few minutes, turn the heat off and allow it to cool a little. To assemble the spring rolls – take a rice paper wrap and dip it entirely into a large bowl of warm water until it has become floppy, only about 30 seconds.
Now lay flat on the counter or chopping board and place about 2 tablespoons of mixture in the centre. Follow with a spoonful of the pesto and roll up! I go once over the mixture, bring in the sides and then roll to the end.
Unfortunately the light was going down as I made these, so I don’t have many nice photos, but trust me – these were DELICIOUS 🙂 Try the for yourself!