Cabbage Spring Rolls & Peanut Butter Soba Noodles (VEGAN)

Recently I was in the mood for cabbage rolls, but not really, more like spring rolls made with cabbage instead of rice paper. I don’t know why, not really, other than I was reminiscing about some really delicious Vietnamese spring rolls I had once in Wheaton, IL.

Then I was walking down the aisle of a very crowded Lidl and spotted a gorgeous head of Savoy cabbage. I had to have it, knowing it would be great for the wraps, not to mention a vegan soup or two. Maybe even a vegan ramen dish.

The possibilities were endless.

As was the prep time for these vegan cabbage spring rolls. 🙄

The good thing about this kind of vegan recipe is that it’s mostly raw so you’re getting plenty of natural fiber, but also that you can use any of the raw vegetables in your crisper that you just don’t know what to do with. I had a pretty specific idea of what I wanted in my vegan spring rolls, starting with smoked tofu and ending with this beautiful platter you see below.

The ingredient list for the Savoy wraps is pretty straightforward:

Carrots
Scallions
Bell peppers
Cucumber
Sprouts (these are radish sprouts)
Smoked tofu
Savoy cabbage

The most important step is to give the cabbage leaves a quick boil or steam, about 2 minutes. Do it early enough that the cabbage cool and are easy to manage while wrapping. I to roll the first one with the cabbage spine still on it and…it was a mess so I recommend trimming it down but not necessarily cutting it off completely, because that will just make wrapping it harder.

While you wait for the water to boil for the cabbage, preheat the oven or airfryer to 200C and add the seasoned smoked tofu until nice and crispy.

Set aside.

Use the biggest leaves on the Savoy cabbage and wrap them the wide way, across the spine rather than up or down. Trust me, it’ll make the process easier and less annoying.

Take a little of each ingredient and line it up across the leaf, then roll.

If you want to add anything to these vegan spring rolls to fill out the meal, I added soba noodles that I tossed in a mixture of peanut butter, hot water, lime juice, Sriracha and soy sauce. It was easy and delicious..

I also made a quick yogurt sauce for my partner, just in case the smoked tofu had a bit too much tandoor spice on it, which I’m happy to report it did not.

This was a quick (mostly) and easy vegan meal, at least if you make it through the prep work without losing your mind. I rewarded myself for all he prep work with an ice cold beer made without fish belly, thank you very much.

Do you like rolls? How do you prefer to enjoy them?

Fried Tofu Sammies with Raw Vegan Slaw

Sometimes you have a need for something so specific that you just can’t let it go. It happens to all of us, I think, and at any rate it happened to me recently. I really felt like having a chicken sandwich which has proven to be pretty much an empty wish in Romania. In Germany there were plenty of vegan schnitzel options and even a Qorn brand vegan ‘chicken’ breast.

But here there was no such luck so I had to improvise.

At first I was feeling brave and inspired, thinking I would just mash-up a bunch of vegetables into a patty, bread it, fry and voila homemade vegan sandwiches. It was a nice dream while it lasted, anyway. But on a trip to Kaufland they actually had firm tofu and I remembered a recipe I’d recently saved to my Plant Based Plate Pinterest page. I grabbed American style hamburger buns with sesame seeds and because I was trying so hard to be a good little healthy woman, I skipped over the thought of potatoes and opted for vegetables.

Cole Slaw is my jam. Always has been going back to the days where me and KFC were on a first name basis and as soon as I discovered a plain vegan yogurt that I liked, it went back into the meal rotation. I used red and green cabbage, scallions (because I didn’t have shallots), red bell pepper, fresh dill and parsley, lime juice, cumin, paprika and fresh pressed garlic. Oh and mustard. Spicy mustard or whatever you prefer really because you have to eat it. Put the veggies in a bowl and in a separate bowl, mix together the yogurt, mustard, herbs and spices until blended and toss with vegetables. If you make a lot like I did, add the dressing in 3 separate batches until it is all coated.

Set aside or chill if you prefer.

The tofu is a little more time consuming but still pretty easy. You need two bowls one for the vegan egg and milk soak and another for the flour, cornstarch, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper coating. How you proceed from here is a matter of preference. You can dip it in the liquid, into the flour and then straight into 1 to 2 tbsp. of oil to fry up. OR you can double dip it for an extra bit of crispness. I added a few tablespoons of flaked coconut to the flour mixture for extra crunch.

I set out mustard, ketchup and leftover yogurt for condiments for the sandwiches and washed it down with an ice col Ciuc.

As you can see, they came out pretty crispy and the skin didn’t fall off until I was a little heavy handed with the spatula. You need a light touch when flipping over the patties or else you’ll peel that breading right off. Also don’t be afraid to turn down the heat if they’re cooking too fast. You want a golden brown crisp not a black too crunchy mess.