These rolls are basically a fusion between Indonesian and Vietnamese cuisine. Why? Because we all know summer rolls are famous in Vietnam and the tempeh filling is not your typical tempeh dish! It's "orak arik tempe"which is a super popular dish in basically all Indonesian households. If you grew up in Indonesia and your Mum or Mbak or Aunt or Grandma has never made this for you, then you're lying. Orak arik tempe is so simple and yet probably one of my fav Indonesian dishes to eat. I also used purple cabbage in this recipe because I had lots leftover from the Christmas period and I know some of you will have some leftover purple cabbage knocking about in your fridge too. The peanut sauce also pairs really well with the veggies I have used in this recipe so go ahead and try these vegan summer rolls for #Veganuary today!
Serves: 5 medium sized summer rolls - perfect for 2 people as a starter or a light lunch
Difficulty: Level 1
Wow factor: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐ - because she's so colourful and PRETTY
For the orak arik tempeh:
200g tempeh - sliced into thin batons
1 thai shallot - finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic - chopped
2 keffir lime leaves
(optional) 1 red chilli - you can deseed to make it less spicy or leave the seeds in for a bit of fun / flames
3tbsp kecap manis or sweet soy sauce (if you don't have any / can't find it in your local shop, just use 2tbsp normal soy sauce and 1tbsp sugar)
Oil for frying
Salt & pepper
For delicious peanut sauce:
3tbsp crunchy peanut butter
2tbsp smooth peanut butter
1tbsp maple syrup
2tsp soy sauce
3tbsp soy milk (or your milk of choice)
(optional) 1/2 red chilli for a bit of spice - seeded or deseeded it's up to you
For assembling rolls:
5x Vietnamese rice paper (ours was 22cm in diameter) - you can find them in Asian grocery stores or my fav online shop Thai Food Online
1/2 purple cabbage - thinly sliced and cut in half to ensure they can fit the rice paper
3 medium-sized carrots - peeled and thinly sliced into batons
You can also use whatever veg you feel like using such as lettuce, cucumber, red peppers, etc!
Few coriander leaves / or choice of herb
First let's make the orak arik tempeh. In a large frying pan, pour in the cooking oil. I used about 1 tbsp as my pan is non-stick but you might have to use around 2 tbsps just see how it goes.
Add tempeh batons and sprinkle some salt and black pepper on top. You want to fry the tempeh over medium-high heat to ensure you get the nice golden colour all over. It took me around 5-8 minutes to get all sides of the baton into the golden brown colour we want in a tempeh.
Once tempeh is ready, move the batons to another plate and set aside for now.
Back in your frying pan, pour in another tablespoon of oil. Once heated up, tip in your shallots, garlic, chilli (if using) and keffir lime leaves. Fry until fragrant (usually around 3-4 minutes).
Once done and fragrant, tip the tempeh back into the mix and add the kecap manis. Mix well and if the tempeh is not yet covered by the delicious sweet & sticky sauce, add more. Season with more salt & black pepper. Now taste it and adjust it to your own palette. If it's not sweet enough still, add more kecap manis, if it's not salty enough add a dash of salt.
When this is ready, set aside and let's start the peanut sauce! In a blender, add in all the ingredients and blend until smooth. If it's too solid, add some soy milk. If it's too watery, add more peanut butter. Now taste it and adjust it to your tastebuds. I am asking you to always adjust to your own taste because I want it to be delicious for YOU not US.
When the peanut sauce is ready just tip into a sauce dish and set aside for serving later.
Let's get your wrapping station ready. Ensure you have a big bowl or plate which can hold enough hot water to submerge your rice paper. Now add hot water, drown your rice paper and move it around for 10-15 seconds. The previously stiff rice paper will now be super soft and flexible - almost like rubber!
Lay the rice paper on a chopping board or a big plate and wipe away any excess water using a tea towel, or just flick it away with your fingers.
Add your chopped herbs and veg, add the tempeh (I used about 2 batons each) and don't overfill this because if you do, it will be very hard to roll and your rice paper might rip!
To wrap, start by folding two sides over the filling, and then holding the filling in position, fold the other ends and keep on rolling until you get a tight summer roll. This might take some practice but you'll get there! It's also really hard to explain with words but I am sure you can find YouTube videos to help visualise how to roll.
You are now ready to serve and don't forget your peanut sauce! Feel free to cut the rolls in half before serving to showcase the beautiful filling. Good luck friends!
Storage tips: these keep well for a few hours but I would recommend eating it fresh because the rice paper rolls once dipped in water will get weird when kept too long in the fridge and it won't be a nice experience to eat. Trust me, I've learned my lesson.
Serving tips: Apart from the peanut sauce dip, feel free to also serve it with your other fav sauces such as sriracha or sweet chilli sauce.