Sunday, February 27, 2011

Vegan Thai Salad Rolls

With this recipe I would like to take part to the contest piatti unici, from the blog Burro e Miele.
This is the first contest that Eleonora of Burro e Miele hosts, and I really wanted to take part, although my
idea of a 'piatto unico' tends to be different from the traditional Italian types. This is Vegan, gluten free, fat free, light, and yet fully balanced and filling (or at least, it is for me :-)). Best consumed with beer, or with a glass of chilled Cracroft Chase Pinot Gris (please scroll to the end of this post for another Christchurch earthquake update).

Vegan Thai Salad Rolls

On Saturday I went to the Oratia Farmers Market and bought some smoked salt and garlic. The smoked salt is really nice and mixed with a few spices and herbs, so I thought of using it to marinate some organic tofu to put inside my Thai salad rolls.

I cut the tofu into thin strips and then I sprinkled the salt on. After 30 minutes I turned the tofu slices over and sprinkled the smoked salt on the other side too. After other 30 minutes I lightly fried the tofu slices with rice bran oil. I put it on some kitchen paper to remove the excess oil, and set aside.

I used Thai rice paper wrap, which are gluten free. You need to soak the rice papers for a few minutes in warm water (five at the time) and then place them flat on a dried tea towel.

For the filling I also used some Thai chillies in brine, but not in all of the rolls, for others I used leaves of Vietnamese mint, but you can also use Thai basil and Thai mint. Then I used thin slices of carrots, chives, bean sprouts, and of course the tofu (each slice broken into two pieces for easy rolling).
You can also use shredded lettuce, and any other vegetable cut into Julienne strips.

Place the tofu and vegetable on the rice paper. Keep the decorative leaves/chillies a little to one side so that when you roll up your rolls they will be more visible.

Roll the rice paper, folding the sides in as you go, to seal the roll. The wet rice paper is sticky so it will seal well!

Herbs and chillies makes nice decorative motifs, and they are edible too. Make the most of them!

Place your rolls on serving plates, 5 or 6 per child (don't overdo it with the chillies for young kids)
and 7 or 8 per adult.

To serve I used three sauces: soy sauce, Thai sweet chilli sauce, and miso sauce (just a little miso paste diluted with hot water). Each sauce makes the rolls taste quite different!

My little boy loves Thai sweet chilli sauce, so he just had his own little dipping dish. Eat with fingers!

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

And now some news from my friends Wilma and Alessandro from, Cracroft Chase in Christchurch (if you remember I have written about them here). They are safe, but their house had some damage, they are sleeping in a big tent (with beds and chairs) and cooking on the BBQ, but they are in great spirit (I really admire them), working to clean up and start anew.

Alessandro and Wilma Laryn

Incredibly their vinery was fine, and all the wine is safe. I am thinking that the restaurants in Christchurch that used to sell their wine will not open for a while (if ever), and so if you would like to support a Christchurch business, and drink some excellent and well priced Pinot Gris, please check their website.

I wasn't asked to write this, it was my idea, Wilma and Ale, I hope you don't mind.



  1. che belli Ale, tutti colorati!!
    metto subito in lista, in bocca al lupo e un gran abbraccio!!!

  2. Un gioia per gli occhi, oltre che sicuramente per il palato!

  3. ahh i love your decorational touches to all your food!
    just shows that an extra minute spent just makes it THAT much better!

  4. I love rice paper rolls...! Normally I eat the Vietnamese version with prawns, etc. Your photos are beautiful!!

  5. Sono una meraviglia, sei bravissima.

  6. The rolls look healthy and I'd love to try right away!!

  7. I'm glad to hear your friends are ok! The salad rolls look wonderful, so fresh and the addition of tofu!

  8. Senti, questo tuo blog è proprio carino. E il fatto che tu sia esattamente dall'altra parte dell'orbe terracqueo rispetto a me, me lo rende ancora più interessante... Tornerò...


  9. Sei stata eccellente, Alessandra! Come sempre originale e fantasiosa, oltre ad avere delle mani fatate!
    Annoto la ricetta e spero che venga bene come la tua! :-D Bacioni!

  10. a good idea to use the Tofu!
    But,I do not think there is salt smoked in France

  11. Those rolls are beautiful. I love the pretty finish you give to your food.

    Glad to hear your friends are safe.

  12. Salad rolls looks beautiful and yummy.I have never made these,I am planning to try this your way soon.I am happy I bumped into your wonderful
    blog as I love trying out new vegetarian dishes and you have a wonderful array of those.Also thanks for stopping by my blog.

  13. You are getting very good with that iphone app! Well done for supporting your friends, we love Pinot Gris so I will check out your link. Thanks

  14. Thank you Allie! The iphone is fun, I still need to check out more tricks, I can get very lazy when I find a good editing system and don't explore the rest of the program!

  15. Wow la Nuova Zelanda, chissà com'é! Mi piacerebbe molto visitarla. Per ora mi accontentero' di questi splendidi involtini thaï che adoro!! A presto!!

  16. Wow, this ticks to many boxes! Plus I like the variety with the three dipping sauces :D

  17. Hi Alessandra,thanks for commenting on my blog.
    I´m loving the ricipes on your blog, this looks so delicious!
    Rolls looks good....hummmmmmmmm....
    un gran baci:)

  18. Thanks for your valuable feedback in my space dear...:D
    Rolls sounds terrible tempting..awesome clicks..
    Tasty appetite

  19. Never had salad in this form, looks absolutely gorgeous.

  20. Stop! I'm salivating!! That looks WONDERFUL!!

    Give NZ a boost by featuring it in my 'round the world' adventure! Check it out on my blog!!

  21. Ma sono stilosissimi!Un tripudio di primavera:)Sei stata cara nei confronti dei tuoi amici, credo apprezzeranno molto, come farei io!

  22. Love the look of the Thai rolls - I cook quite a look of Thai and Vietnamese dishes as find they lend themselves well to vegetarian versions!

    So glad to hear that you and your friends and family are OK!

  23. How nice to meet you Alessandra! Thank you for popping over to my blog!
    Si, sono Italiana. La mia mamma da Calabria e mio papa` da Emilia Romagna ma io sono nata in Australia. E te?
    I love rice paper rolls and yours look wonderful. It reminds me that I should make some again soon!
    Our prayers are with all those involved in the terrible Christchurch earthquake. It's uplifting to hear some good news as of you friends!

  24. These are exquisite, Alessandra! Pure poetry in food form. I like the idea of using the smoked salt and garlic to marinate the tofu. Wish I had some for lunch right now.
    And I send out some prayers for your family and friends in Christchurch. I was thinking of you and hoping all was well. Take care.

  25. My parents usually make vietnamese rolls with prawns and rice noodle. Nice presentation.

    About the stuffed peppers, boiling in salt water for a few mins soften a bit and provide taste to it.

  26. Your rolls are almost too beautiful eat. That probably wouldn't stop me if they were placed in front of me. I'd feel ashamed though. I hope your friends are able to handle the financial aftermath of the earthquake. have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  27. I piatti vegani sono tra i miei preferiti :D

  28. Good to know your friends are safe. And thanks for the rice paper roll recipes. I'll be trying them out.
    Thanks for checking my site out, and yes the tui post is my favourite, such inspiring birds.

  29. che meraviglia Alessandra, bravissima come sempre.

  30. Sembrano eccezionali! Ho proprio dei dischi di riso a casa, magari faccio un merger tra i tuoi e quelli di Sigrid, che ne dici?

  31. @ Nerodiseppia:

    Quelli di riso pero' non si dovrebbero friggere... o almeno, io non ci ho mai provato, magari inventi qualcosa di nuovo! :-)

    grazie per la visita, adesso vengo a trovarti anch'io :-)


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