This appetizer is so easy to put together, and is full of amazing Thai and Vietnamese flavors. The Soy Curls jerky ads the perfect textural component to heighten this fresh and herbaceous dish.
Recently I’ve added a new must-have dish to my Thai restaurant order: Thai Beef Jerky. It’s my newest food obsession, and my favorite Thai restaurant, Thailicious, makes an amazing vegan version. The jerky has a great chew and spice. The sauce that it comes with is acidic and spicy and salty and almost overpowering flavored with what I can only assume is black pepper.
I’ve been chasing the flavors of that dish for a while now. For some reason I think that anything that anyone else can cook I should be able to cook. Delusional or aspirational?
After a number of searches and swap-outs and experiments, I’m pretty sure I’m about 80% of the way to their version. However on the way to duplicating their flavors, I think I’ve created a variation of my own which I might enjoy just as much.
The night before filming the jerky video, I went to a Vietnamese restaurant to help Ben do a video shoot (here’s what he made). I was starving and starting to get a bit cranky, so I ordered some tofu spring rolls to hold me over. They totally hit the spot.
And as I ate them, a light bulb went off! What about jerky spring rolls?!
On the way home, I stopped an grabbed the few missing ingredients I didn’t have on hand. I whipped up a test batch the moment I stepped in the door.
There was no turning back.
The flavors are rich and complex, and the textures are incredible. Not to mention the herbaceous dipping sauce that is impossible to stop thinking about.
My take on a traditional spring roll, using Soy Curls jerky.
- 4 ounces dry Soy Curls
- 2 cups hot water or vegetable broth
- 1 No Beef bouillon cube, or enough to make 2 cups of broth
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce (recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cups freshly chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup vegan fish sauce (recipe below)
- 1 lime juiced (about ¼ cup)
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- ½ to 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Thai green chilies, thinly sliced, or red chili flake, or a teaspoon of sambal oelek
- Thai Beef Jerky (Soy Curls jerky)
- Spring roll wrappers
- Fresh mint
- Rice vermicelli, cooked according to package directions
- Romaine or green leaf lettuce, cut into thin strips
- Carrot, cut into thin strips using a vegetable peeler
- Cilantro sprigs
In a medium-sized bowl, combine everything except for the Soy Curls. Stir well to combine.
Add the Soy Curls and allow them to absorb the broth, covered, for about 10 minutes.
Preheat your air fryer to 180 to 200 degrees fahrenheit.
Cook your soy curls in 2 to 3 batches. Set the timer for 20 minutes, tossing the Soy Curls every 5 minutes. They are done when they are lightly browned and chewy. If they overcook, they will become dry. (18 minutes is usually the magic time for me)
Allow to cool completely before storing in the fridge in an airtight container.
Finely chop your cilantro and green onion. Combine all ingredients into a bowl, and allow to mingle until ready to serve. If making ahead of time, add the cilantro just before serving.
Fill a plate with hot tap water. Working one at a time, dip the rice paper into the water, and rotate until the entire wrapper has been moistened. Place the wrapper, still slightly stiff, onto a plastic board or glass plate.
Start with your most visually pleasing ingredient on the bottom, and layer your ingredients into the wrapper. Allow some ingredients to stick out of the ends.
Without folding the ends in, being to roll the wrapper over the ingredients, and continue until everything is rolled up and tucked inside. Proceed to roll the remainder of your spring rolls in the same fashion.
Cut in half, and serve with the exposed ends sticking up, with the sauce on the side.
- 4 cups of filtered water
- 1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos gluten-free, or soy sauce
- 1/4 ounce of dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 sheet of nori or kombu
- 1 tablespoon of salt
Add all of the ingredients into a pot, and allow them to come up to a boil. Turn off the stove, and allow to steep for a an hour or two. Return the pot to a boil, and then allow the liquid to reduce to two cups. Strain with a fine mesh strainer, reserving the deliciously flavorful and textured mushrooms. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Note: if you over-reduce, just add a bit more water until it reaches 2 cups.