Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Chili Garlic Tempeh Spring Rolls

I was in the grocery store the other day and happened to wander by the one place I never go: the deli counter. To my delight I discovered that they have many Asian products for sale in a variety of small displays: a sushi section, an Indian section, etc. When I saw that they had rice paper I knew I had to make spring rolls. I was really pumped today when I pulled them out of the cupboard until I realized I had no idea what goes into a spring roll! So I jumped online to find out. Rice vermicelli. Uh oh. I had none. Ditto on the bean sprouts and cucumber (didn't I just go shopping?). And I certainly wasn't going to put shrimp or chicken in them. So I rifled through the crisper and came up with these. They were awesome, even if they weren't authentic.

Makes 6 spring rolls
- 1/2 pkg tempeh
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- few drops sesame oil

- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce

- 6 pieces rice paper
- 6 stalks asparagus
- 4 romaine lettuce leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced

1. Bring water, soy sauce, and sesame oil to a boil in a medium saucepan. Put tempeh in water and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from water and cool. When cool, coarsely grate.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add tempeh and fry for 3-4 mins, until tempeh browns a little. Add soy sauce and water and mix well (add more water if soy sauce is not evenly mixing through the tempeh). Then stir in chili garlic sauce and remove from heat to cool.
3. While tempeh is cooling, steam asparagus until tender. Roll up all four romaine leaves together and thinly slice. Chop cilantro and slice onions.
4. To assemble the spring rolls, soak a piece of rice paper in water for about a minute. Put 1/6 of the tempeh in row in the middle of the paper. Halve an asparagus stalk and flank the tempeh with the two pieces. Top with 1/6 of the lettuce, cilantro, and green onion. Fold in sides, then roll up, being careful not to rip the rice paper.
5. Serve right away with chili dipping sauce.


carrie said...

Yum! I make un-authentic spring rolls all of the time. My favorite filling is mango, cucumber, cilantro and snow pea sprouts. I do always use the rice noodles though.

Your's look delicious, but there's just something about tempeh that grosses me out (although I did try your meatballs yesterday, and I can do shredded tempeh!!)

chow vegan said...

Authentic or not, they look very tasty!

Heather said...

I just want you to know that I have been reading this blog for awhile and I end up saving almost all of your recipes and making them the following week. They're so easy and healthy and interesting.

Erin said...

I say it doesn't matter how authentic your ingredients are as long as they taste good!

Vegan Dad said...

Thanks, Heather! Messages like this really make my day. I am always happy to find out that:
1. People actually make the recipes.
2. The recipes actually turn out.

Vegan Invasion! (Ashley Nicole) said...

Wow. Those look absolutely fantastic; I will definitely have to try them out this weekend! I'm providing some vegan appetizers and snacks for a party next week and have been looking for a quick, easy (and extremely tasty) spring roll recipe - looks like I've found it!!

(BTW - I love your tempeh burger recipe!!)

pavotrouge said...

woah, they look and sound awesome, I have to try them! said...

just wanted to say, since they're not fried, they're summer rolls. (more Vietnamese or Thai instead of American-Chinese spring rolls)

they look great though! never thought of tempeh in rice paper wraps!

cadecaji said...

Was inspired by this recipe and dinner was a hit. Grating the tempeh was more like crumbling the tempeh, I expected it to have the grated look of carrots I guess. I used only tamari, paprika and water on the tempeh as toddler does not go for anything remotely spicy (including onion!). Tempeh still had a bit of a bitter edge after boiling but nobody minded much, including toddler who ate some up. Any idea why tempeh was still a bit bitter?

Vegan Dad said...

The grating is to make the temph like finely ground meat. As for the boiling, it will help reduce the bitterness, but will not eliminate it all together. I assume the bitterness comes from the fermentation process, so boiling will only do so much. Spices can help mask the rest, but that may be a problem if your toddler does not like spice.