A Vegan Chinese New Year: Coconut Satay Spring Rolls & Orange and maple glazed tofu with tender stem broccoli, purple cabbage and udon noodles (RECIPE)

I…don’t do recipes. I’m very much a “throw things at a pot” sort of cook and I am the queen of winging it. I certainly don’t usually do recipe posts on the blog, but the first time one makes spring rolls from scratch is a cause for celebration! Oh and it just so happened to be Chinese New Year as well. 

Coconut satay spring rolls


• 7 garlic cloves

• 6 tbsp peanut butter

• 3 tbsp soy

• 2 inch piece of fresh ginger

• 200ml coconut milk

• 1/2 tsp yuzu juice (or lemon, or lime)

Spring rolls:

• 1 packet phyllo pastry

• 1 packet ready-prepared stirfry mix (I used Waitrose’s pea, bean and cress but pretty much anything will work)

• Some carrots, julienned

• 1 packet rice vermicelli noodles

Uh. I cheated, ok? I could have chopped veg with my own fair hands, but I was lazy and it was getting late. Also I used my smoothie maker because who wants to chop garlic and ginger when they can whizz that up on 30 seconds? Who indeed. Not I.

So blend that satay sauce up in a smoothie maker, a blender, a food processor. It takes more time to make a cup of tea than it does to make homemade satay sauce.

Sauté the vegetables in a bit of oil, add the rice vermicelli noodles, and about half of the satay sauce. Oh and I used the ready-to-cook kind, which made no difference to the end result. Do NOT overcook. This is speedy. Don’t let the noodles get soggy because that will NOT make good spring roll filling. Think like a spring roll. Become the spring roll.

I couldn’t find the proper wrappers in my local supermarket, so I improvised with phyllo. I think next time I’ll try to get the real stuff as phyllo is (I find) more difficult to work with. This video shows how to fold spring rolls the right way; mine were a bit more of a burrito situation if I’m honest.

Now here’s the funny part. I ran out of vegetable oil. I ended up frying these in an inch or so of mixed oil (coconut, vegetable, extra virgin and a smidge of chilli rapeseed oil). It actually worked quite well but there was a moment of panic. These take next to no time, so just toss them in one by one or a couple at a time until they’re crispy and golden.

Orange and maple glazed tofu with tender stem broccoli, purple cabbage and udon noodles 


• 5 tbsp maple syrup

• 6 tbsp soy sauce

• 1 tsp mirin rice wine vinegar

• 4 garlic cloves

• Juice of 2 oranges

• Zest of 1 orange


• Tofu

• About 150g or 1 punnet shiitake mushrooms

• A few chestnut mushrooms

• Tender stem broccoli

• 1/2 a purple cabbage, shredded

• 3 packets of fresh udon noodles

• 1 tbsp sesame oil

• 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, mirin, garlic, oranges, and orange zest.

In a bowl, marinade cubes of tofu in half the maple glaze. I used cauldron tofu pieces, but any firm tofu would work here. Add sliced mushrooms and vegetables. I didn’t leave this for very long because there were noises of mutiny coming from the sitting room.

Stirfry the tofu and veg in a little oil. Add the udon and the rest of the glaze until the noodles are cooked. This is the fastest thing ever, faster than making packet ramen noodles. I’ve had pot noodles that took longer to make than this.

So there you have it. My very first vegan Chinese New Year dinner, made for two very hungry non-vegan boys who devoured the lot and fought over the last spring roll. I’d call that a success!


  1. This looks amazing! I recently went vegetarian and Ilove Chinese so I’ve found it hard the things I can eat. I’ll have to give this one a go ^_^

  2. I LOVE the sound of coconut satay spring rolls – what a combo! I’m with you on those packs of pre-chopped veg too, they’re a lifesaver sometimes 🙂

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