Felice Pasqua a tutti! The Daniel Fast is coming to an end! One of the last recipes I will be posting as explicitly fast-friendly is for a delicious veggie spring roll! However, there will be more vegan recipes coming up in the future, because we have discovered several wonderful and healthy staples during our fast!
For this spring roll, we wanted something asian-inspired, but vegan. Sometimes that can be difficult to find! However, we put together a few recipes we found around the internet, and switched out the typical egg roll wrapper for the fast-friendly spring roll wrapper.
The result is a savory (yet still fresh) filling that lends itself to being dipped in soy sauce. I am obsessed with soy sauce- on everything, even though I know that usually you should have your spring rolls with the sweet and sour sauce, I always have mine with soy sauce!
That being said- if you do not like soy sauce you should definitely increase the salt in the filling a bit. We purposefully decreased the salt levels because we knew we wanted to dip in soy sauce and that would bring the salty flavor that we wanted. If you are planning to use a different dipping sauce, adjust the recipe accordingly (from effectively no salt to about 1/2 tsp would be my suggestion).
If you are also opposed to frying anything, you can easily eat these in the wrapper, without cooking them (as a more traditional spring roll). It’s delicious either fried or not, but we wanted the extra crunch that comes with sautéing them in a bit of olive oil!
A final note before we begin- this recipe makes around 20 spring rolls! I say ‘about’ because my fiancé and I try to keep an accurate count but these are so delicious that we always munch on them as we are cooking, so I can’t promise exactly 20. Suffice to say, this recipe makes a large number of spring rolls! They are super healthy though, so you can eat tons of them and not feel bad! If you are absolutely positive you do not want to end up with twenty of these, you can cut the recipe in half easily, and it should cause no problems!
Vegan Spring Rolls
makes about 20 (but they can serve as few as two, because they are that yummy!)
3 1/2 cups spinach
2 cups de-stemmed cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1 medium yellow onion
2 green onions
2 cups silken tofu (1, 16 oz package)
spring roll wrappers (we were able to find these at our local safeway, I am assuming they are not too rare based off of that)
First, sauté the spinach in olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper. We usually do about two tablespoons of olive oil, a few dashes of salt, and one crack of pepper!
The spinach will turn bright green and then slowly begin getting darker. Ideally, you want to cook it until it is completely wilted but has not yet lost its color. This is sometimes a difficult balance to strike, but if you cook it a bit to long, it’s not a huge deal. If you’re really into it- you can set up a bath of ice water to blanche them! Drain the spinach really well and then place it in a large bowl.
Next, wash and de-stem two cups of cilantro. This part is a tedious task- I won’t lie. Picking all of the leaves off until you have two full cups takes some time, but it is so worth it for that deliciously fresh flavor that cilantro adds.
Mince the garlic and chop the onion and green onion.
Mix the spinach, cilantro, garlic, onion, green onion, and tofu into a large bowl. With silken tofu, it will mash up very easily, but you don’t want to use any of the excess water that comes in the container.
After everything has been mixed well, sauté the filling in a large pan.
Cook the filling down over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates from the mixture and the onions are tender. Place it back in the bowl to cool off.
To prepare your spring roll wrappers, you will need to arrange two plates- one filled with water, and one dry. The process of filling these will be done one a time. I wouldn’t recommend trying to do more than that, as the wrappers get hopelessly stuck together after they have been rehydrated.
First, soak a wrapper in the water, letting it sit for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes malleable and sticky.
Next, spread the rehydrated wrapper onto the dry plate. Spoon a small amount (at most 1 tablespoon) of filling onto the top of the wrapper.
Then, begin wrapping the filling by bringing the top of the wrapper over it and completely covering it once. Fold in the sides, almost as if you’re swaddling a baby.
From this point you can roll all the way down.
Now, you have the option to eat these as they are! The filling will still be relatively warm and they are yummy, but, as I said, we decided to cook them in some olive oil to add a crunch. Olive oil, with its low smoking point, might not be the best for this process, and we did have some issues with smoke. I would recommend trying out a higher temp oil, like vegetable oil or canola oil.
To ‘fry’ these, we use only about 1-2 tablespoons of oil in the pan. Over medium-high heat, these will crisp up in about 10 minutes, but you want to flip them to get each side as crispy as possible!
These spring rolls also stick together in the pan, so try to keep them separated as you’re cooking! We chose spring roll wrappers, because they are fast-friendly and vegan, but egg roll wrappers or won ton wrappers could work better for this!
The wrapping and cooking process does take some time, so you will probably be munching on them while you cook! They make great snacks, and they save very well in the fridge. I have even eaten them cold, dipped in soy sauce, and they’re still delicious!