Vegetariat began as mostly a food blog. Now I talk more about growing food than cooking but if you go through the archives you’ll find a lot of recipes. This one I thought was so cute that I had to pass it on.
My daughter and I wanted something savory, vegan and spooky to bring to a Halloween potluck. We saw lots of Pintrest tags for apple slices with teeth, green pepper faces oozing spaghetti and all kinds of cheese or egg eyeballs.
Miranda had made some Thai spring rolls for my birthday last week, which are a big favorite of mine. I liked how you could see the veggies through the rice paper. Then I thought what if something spooky was peering through the rice paper wrapper? A ghostly figure. Then I thought of these wonderfully large King Oyster mushrooms we bought at 88Ranch Market and I knew what I wanted.
I sliced the mushrooms very thinly. To cut out the eyes and mouth at first I used a knife, then tried a hole punch, and finally used the end of a plastic straw which worked beautifully. I simmered the mushrooms until tender in vegetable broth, sesame oil and Bragg’s Amino Acids. Then they were set on paper towels to dry and to cool. We also prepared the other ingredients: cilantro, Thai basil, strips of chive, soaked rice noodles, lettuce, bean sprouts, grated carrot and crumbled tofu cooked in sesame seed oil and lite Soy Sauce.
Spring rolls are not cooked. They are a bunch of flavorful and aromatic herbs and veggies wrapped in a clear rice paper wrapper. These wrappers come in hard, brittle sheets. You carefully dip them one at a time into hot water and they quickly become translucent and soft. This is the tricky part, getting them on a surface to fill and fold without allowing it to stick onto itself. If one hangs up too much, dip it back into the water and you can gently pull creases out then.
We put a mushroom ghost 2/3rds of the way up, and the rest of the filling just below that. Don’t overfill, and keep a margin on either side for folding. Beware of stems that might poke holes into the wrapper. To fold, you fold in either side first. Then fold the bottom up until it covers 2/3s of the rest, then roll up. The filling should be neatly tucked away and the ghost peering out. You can arrange the filling behind the ghost so that there are different backgrounds, such as a lettuce forest, creepy bean sprout tendrils or a haze of red carrot.
Serve the rolls with a peanut dipping sauce. We brought these to a potluck Halloween party and they all disappeared in a not-so-spooky manner!
If you don’t have big mushrooms available, then you can also do this with carrots very thinly sliced and handled the same way.
Here’s a quick recipe for the peanut dipping sauce, but there are many variations out there so try others:
- 2 tbsp water
- ½ cup chunky peanut butter (you can use smooth, but I like the chunks for more flavor)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp vegetarian hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp lite soy sauce (or Bragg's Amino Acid)
- 2 small garlic cloves (or 1 large), minced
- 1 birds eye chilli, finely chopped (optional. We left them out)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- Mix all ingredients until the consistancy is like honey; you want it to stick but not clump.
- Garnish with crushed peanuts and sprigs of herbs or a piece of lime.
Just wanted to share our spooky treats that also were very healthy and so very tasty!