With the holidays just around the corner I was inspired to give you an epic party appie idea. This is all the delicious things you love about a steaming hot bowl of ramen stuffed into a spring roll! It was all dreamt up when drooling over photos of the best vegan ramen in my cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face.
You’re going to serve them up with a tangy pomegranate sweet & sour sauce and then let the good times roll! Check out how to prep and make these babies in the video below.
MAKES 20 spring rolls (8 to 10 people)
PREP TIME 70 mins
COOK TIME 90 mins
1 x 350 g brick firm tofu
1/4 C low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tsp smoked paprika
300 g ramen noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained (discard seasoning packs)
1 tbsp miso
1 tbsp veg oil
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 C cilantro, roughly chopped
2 C carrots, fine julienne
2 C purple cabbage, thinly sliced on a mandolin
2 C bean sprouts
1 1/2 C frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
2 to 3 green onions, sliced thinly lengthwise (about 2-inches long)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
2 pkgs large size spring roll pastry, defrosted (40 sheets)
pomegranate sweet & sour sauce (makes about 2 cups)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp garlic
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 C pomegranate juice (Pom brand)
1/3 C unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 C granulated sugar
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
First make the tofu bacon or make it ahead of time. Drain the tofu from the packaging water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut it into spears or thin shoe string pieces. Combine the soy sauce or tamari, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika with a whisk in a wide shallow dish. Place tofu in the marinade and set aside for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the tofu slices in an even layer and bake for 25 to 30 minutes flipping halfway through the bake time. If there is excess marinade you can brush it on the pieces of tofu halfway through baking when flipping the pieces.
In the meantime, cook the ramen noodles in a pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes. Do not overcook. Drain from the cooking water and do not rinse ramen noodles. In a mixing bowl combine vegetable oil, miso paste, sesame oil, and soy sauce and combine until smooth. Add the cooked ramen noodles and cilantro and toss to evenly coat.
Set the noodles aside with all of the other pre-cut vegetables and tofu bacon.
To make the sweet & sour sauce heat a saucepan over medium-low heat with vegetable oil. Once hot add garlic and minced ginger. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add pomegranate juice, rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sea salt, ground pepper, and chili flakes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, which takes about 3 minutes over medium heat.
Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing water and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth.
Once the sauce comes to a low simmer, whisk in the cornstarch slurry and turn the heat down slightly. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes while whisking constantly until thickened and glossy. You can set it aside while you assemble and deep fry the spring rolls.
To make the spring rolls combine cornstarch with water to make a thin slurry. Ensure you've defrosted your spring roll pastry in the fridge overnight. Place the stack of pastry sheets on a plate covered with a damp tea towel and have a clean surface ready to roll the spring rolls on.
It’s best to use 2 sheets per roll to prevent tearing. Place sheets in front of you in a diamond formation. Add 1/4 cup of ramen noodles in the lower third of the corner closest to you. Then add tofu bacon, cabbage, carrot, green onion, bean sprouts, and corn kernels.
Roll the bottom corner over the filling gently tucking it underneath and make one full roll over. Then fold each side over and into the center and continue rolling. Wet the top corner with the cornstarch slurry and as you roll it over smooth it out with a finger so it sticks to the side of the spring roll, sealing it well.
You can make all the spring rolls and place finished rolls a baking sheet or plate covered with a damp towel in one layer before deep frying.
When you’re nearly done rolling all the spring rolls add the 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil to a heavy-bottomed pot or deep fryer. There should be at least 2 inches of oil to fully submerge the rolls while frying. Heat it to 365°F to 375°F on a deep frying thermometer or on the dial on your deep fryer.
Fry spring rolls in batches of 3 to 4 rolls for about 5 minutes until light golden brown. You may need to flip them during the frying time. Remove them with a slotted frying spoon and place onto paper towel on a plate or baking sheet. Continue deep frying in batches ensuring your oil is at the right temperature before adding the next spring rolls to the oil.
The spring rolls should remain hot while you fry all of the rolls. Slice them in half and serve immediately with the sweet & sour dipping sauce.
Of course they’re best served immediately but if you have leftovers and you want to reheat these you can place them on a baking sheet and heat through in an oven preheated to 375°F.