From The Vegetarian Table: Thailand, Jacki Passmore, Chronicle Books, 1997.
I took this recipe as a starting point and I am afraid that as I was working at it I was gradually changing the ingredients to suit what I had with me. Actually I do think it is the type of recipe that works well in this way.
I took a little thread vermicelli and soaked it in water for about 10 minutes while I prepared the other ingredients.
I cut some firm tofu into thick slices and placed it in a bowl. With it I added a spring onion sliced, a carrot sliced into thin slivers, three button mushrooms sliced finely, a handful of salted peanuts chopped, a large red chilli cut into thin slivers, salt, white pepper, chopped coriander and some finely shredded ginger. I now added the vermicelli drained and cut into shorter pieces. About a tablespoon of light soy sauce was stirred in.
I now took some spring roll skins. I placed a quantity of the filling in the centre of the sheet, folded over one corner diagonally to the other corner to make a triangle, folded the two side corners in and then rolled the whole thing up to make the roll. I moistened the final corner to aid it in sticking and then laid it final side down while I made the other rolls.
These were all fried in some hot oil, turning them bit by bit to ensure they were browned all over.
They were eaten with a dipping sauce made by placing in a small saucepan ½ cup white vinegar, about 4 tablespoons sugar and enough chilli sauce to suit my heat level. This was brought to the boil, then taken off the heat to cool. Chopped coriander and grated cucumber was now added and the sauce was ready.
I was surprised at how good this turned out to be. I had memories of spring rolls from fish and chip shops and, with my limited background of cooking with Asian ingredients, I was not expecting much of a result—though I wanted to try it to learn a little more about Asian cuisine. The spring rolls were crisp and had plenty of flavour, all enhanced by the sweet/sour dipping sauce. I must make more and vary the ingredients to see what will eventuate.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔