Monday, 7 July 2014


So to really treat myself, as part of my special weekend Asian dinner I thought I'd give making
homemade spring rolls a go. I'll be honest, it looked like it was going to go belly up but thankfully I managed to produce these beautifully stuffed smoked Tofu rolls. Packed with veg they were miles better than some of the little greasy monstrosities you can order from the chippy. Once you go homemade you'll never go back.


Tofu can be very hit and miss. It can be ever so rubbery and bland prepared incorrectly. As a safety net, we bought some of Cauldron's smoked tofu hoping that the smokiness would come out in the filling and by golly it did. The tofu is marinaded for 1 hour prior to cooking anyway so don't worry if you can only get plain tofu, it will still be packed full of the amazing Asian flavours of the marinade but if you really want to push the boat out I highly recommend you hunt out smoked Tofu to really take the filling up a notch. 

Whilst I'm on the subject of Asian marinades let me suggest a couple of items you should invest in to really capture a taste of the orient. These are rice wine vinegar, dark and light soy sauce and sesame oil. They can appear to be quite pricey if your on a budget but once you've got them in they will last a good while and you can create an array of fabulous dishes at a drop of a hat. I beseech you add them to your next shopping list.

Ill also advise that if your knife skills are as shocking as mine that spring rolls are something you only attempt if you have a fine chopping attachment on a food processor. The veg needs to be chopped super fine (julienne if your a fancy pants) so that they all cook through thoroughly inside the rolls. However, If you are in fact Gordon Ramsey then you'll have no problem. This is just a warning from one bad chopper to all the others out there.

Next, your spring roll skins. This is where the trauma happened for me. If you buy rolls which require pre-soaking then do these one at a time when your ready to assemble your rolls. Otherwise like me, you will end up with them all sticking together and tearing. My recipe below is actually enough for 12 small rolls but due to my poor attempts at roll soaking I only managed to salvage 6 super stuffed rolls. Still delicious don't get me wrong and if you want whoppers as well then follow my recipe. If you want more then be less generous with the filling and reduce the frying time.

Whilst I'm taking about the frying stage, your oil should be heated to a medium/high temperature (remember kids - hot oil is dangerous so be super careful). I suggest you test one roll first before plonking them all in. You should get a nice golden colour on the rolls and once remove and cut there should be a nice crispy crunch. If not you need to fry longer. Use your judgement and test one at a time until you've got it down.

That is all the advice I can give you my friends. Fly my pretties and get spring rolling today!

Smoked Tofu Spring Rolls

1 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tsp Caster Sugar
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
200g Drained Smoked Tofu
4 Spring Onions
150g Peeled Carrots
1 Red Pepper
200g Red Cabbage
Handful of Coriander Leaves
1 Tsp Grated Ginger
2 Grated Garlic Cloves
6 Spring Roll Skins

  1. Pour the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sugar and sesame oil into a bowl and mix together. Diced the tofu into small cubes and add into the bowl to marinade for an hour. However, if you are pressed for time you can just marinade it whilst you finish preparing the veg.
  2. Whizz your onions, carrots, pepper and cabbage and coriander through your food processors fine chopping blade and tip into a colander. Squeeze out any excess moisture.
  3. After the tofu has finished marinading, add the ginger andgarlic into an oiled pan on a medium heat and fry for one minute before adding in the tofu with any remaining marinadeand veg and frying for a further 5 minutes until all the excess moisture has evaporated.
  4. Remove everything from the pan and leave to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, assemble the rolls. Take a skin (soaked if you need too) and spoon in 3 tbsp of the fried filling into the centre of the skin. Fold in the sides and then tightly roll into a tight sausage shape. Repeat with the remaining spring roll skins.
  6. Take a pan filled with roughly 5mm of oil and heat the oil up on a medium to high heat. Add in your rolls two at a time and fry each side for roughly 3-4 minutes until they have a nice even golden colour. Remove from the fat and place on some kitchen paper and pat away the excess oil. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
No be careful as the fillings can be very hot. I advise that you cut them all in half to allow some of the heat to escape. Serve your rolls with a nice cold dip. My sweet chili dipping sauce is the perfect accompaniment with it's initial cooling properties followed a nice punchy heat. Yum!

Serve the rolls as a starter to my sticky sweet stir fry and you have a beautiful two course Asian inspired meal that is bound to get you in any ones good books! 

You might as well throw those chippy menu's in the bin as after you've devoured this meal you'll agree that the local takeaway is not a patch on it whatsoever!

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