Sunday, September 28, 2008

Vegan Spring Rolls

To say I like parties is an understatement. I adore them. I adore planning them, I love throwing them and I cannot think of very many things I'd do instead of attending them. I am also not picky about the type of party - be is a gala, a cocktail style soiree, or a house party. However, this love of throwing parties means I have to have a repertoire or party friendly recipes ready to go for whenever the mood strikes me. A relatively recent addition to this collection are spring rolls.

Growing up as a relatively international child (born in Bahrain to parents of East Indian descent and vacationing regularly in the Philippines makes for a complex palate and a strange variety of foods that evoke childhood) spring rolls or what are known in the Philippines as Lumpia are familiar and comforting food to me. I grew up with Lumpia Prito as my aunt's family is primarily vegetarian. However, as a treat for the kids the lovely women who assembled the lumpia would sometimes fill them with slabs of salty cheddar instead of vegetables. There are few things I loved mroe than as a child that a hot cheese filled lumpia, fried until golden, with crisp layers of pastry enclosing delectable molten cheese.

However - if I am to fit into my current wardrobe cheese lumpia are strictly off limits. Fried lumpia are too. In fact, I'd all but forgotten about them until I went cottaging this summer. There, a newly made friend added her contribution to our food stash - spicy pork filled lumpia. As I spent an afternoon hand rolling the delectable treats with her I wondered why I'd never bothered to make them myself.

I spent some time mulling it over. I've primarily stayed away from them because deep frying is a messy process and my tiny apartment kitchen will not allow for it. Also, deep fried foods are things I generally stay away from. However, I've also learned in the recent past, that the perfect samosas we make at the restaurant are very oven friendly. They emerge golden and crisp - as though they'd been deep fried even when they haven't. I reasoned that if it is possible with samosas - then it must translate to lumpia.

Of course - try to form I didn't bother to test my assumptions prior to the festivities. I simply went ahead and made them. Mercifully I was correct.

These lumpia are vegan - filled with stir fried vegetables (carrots, zucchini, peppers, onions, cabbage) and tofu - instead of being filled with the traditional ground pork or beef. Instead of being friend they are baked for 15 minutes on a foiled lined baking sheet that is sprayed with cooking spray. The tops of the lumpia are also given a quick hit of the spray so that they brown.

For more details and pictoral instructions on the rolling technique see Burnt Lumpia's blog.

Vegan Lumpia


1 package of lumpia skins (approx 50 for cocktail sized lumpia)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of ginger, minced
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 large zuchinni, julienned
2 green peppers, julienned
4 baby bok choy, shredded
1/2 large head of napa cabbage, shredded
8oz firm tofu, pressed to drain and marinated over night in soy
cooking spray

1. Pre heat your oven to 450 F. Line 2 baking trays with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. Heat your wok and spray with cooking spray.
3. Once the wok is hot toss in ginger, garlic and onions. Stir fry quickly until fragrant.
4. Once fragrant add the carrots and zucchini.
5. Cook until the zucchini releases some of it's fluid.
6. Add the peppers, choy and cabbage.
7. Cook until the vegetables are softened and have released their fluid.
8. Drain the vegetables well and save the fluid. You will use it to seal the wrappers.
9. Follow the instructions on Burnt Lumpia's blog to make the lumpia using the cooled vegetables and slices of marinated tofu as filling.
10. Lay the finished lumpia on the baking sheet. Spritz with cooking spray.
11. Bake for 15 minutes or until crispy and golden.

No comments: