Baked vegetarian spring rolls allow you to grasp spring (and summer) between your finger tips, to be dipped and savoured with all your might, particularly when the summer is ending! Although, I may well continue to eat spring rolls during the winter, simply because they’re easy to make, healthy and versatile.
Baking spring rolls is healthier than deep frying them (does that need saying?). You can also just eat them raw, without cooking them, and they’re equally good.
Here’s how to bake vegetarian spring rolls…
Ingredients for 4
8 – 10 sheets of rice paper (check the ingredients, they should be simple: rice flour, salt)
250 gr firm tofu
1 large carrot
2 large zucchini
2 handful of fresh baby spinach
some grated ginger to taste
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
fresh basil to taste, shredded
2 tbs olive oil
dash of soya sauce
dash of balsamic vinegar
1 tbs sesame seeds
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp soya sauce
dash of balsamic vinegar
Drain your tofu well, cut it into long batons. In a heavy saucepan, add 1 tsp of olive oil and lightly sauté the grated ginger, cumin, mustard seeds and salt. Add the Tofu, and sauté till browned.
Meanwhile, using a vegetable peeler, create fine strips or ribbons from the carrot. Chop the zucchini into batons. Roughly chop the spinach into strips. Add all these to a large bowl.
Mix together the dressing ingredients, and add it to carrot, zucchini and spinach.
Then prepare your work station for rolling: fill a broad container with warm water, lay a clean kitchen cloth on your work surface next to the warm water, and place your mixture of carrots, zucchini and spinach close by. Lightly oil a baking tray and place at the end of your work station.
Preheat your oven to 180° C.
Once your tofu is sautéed, place them on a plate close to your other ingredients. You’re now ready to start rolling.
Take one sheet of rice paper, place it flat in the warm water for a few seconds, then lay it flat on the kitchen cloth and allow it to soften for 2 – 3 minutes. Test the sheet, it should be pliable and fold without cracking, but not overly soft.
Place one or two batons of tofu in the centre, with 1 tablespoon of your filling on top. Fold the left and right sides of your sheet towards the middle. Fold the side closest to your body towards the middle. Then using your fingertips roll away from your body. Dip your fingers in the warm water, smooth the edges down, and place your roll on your baking tray.
You can establish a good rhythm, allowing sheets to soften while rolling the sheets that are ready.
Once you are finished rolling, place the baking tray in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the spring rolls are nicely browned and crisp.
Serve warm or cold with a dip, either the simple one listed above, or you can be inventive and create your own.
*If you are not cooking the spring rolls immediately, you can keep them for a few hours in the fridge with a damp cloth on top.
Please let me know your concoctions for fillings and dressing – the possibilities are limitless!