“Full of life and colour, these beautiful vegan ‘stained glass’ rolls are a real celebration of amazing veg. You can prep the dips, pickle and veg in advance, but fry your tempura just before eating to keep it crisp. Insanely good! ”
For the pickled shallots, toast the peppercorns, cinnamon, star anise and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan on a medium heat until fragrant. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, 350ml of water and 120ml of vinegar, and bring to the boil.
Peel and finely slice the shallots into rings and place in a heatproof bowl. Using a sieve, strain over the pickling liquid, then leave to cool and let the flavours mingle (see tip).
For the edamame dip, prick the jalapeños with a sharp knife and place them directly over a gas hob, turning with tongs until blistered all over. Leave to cool a little before scraping off the black stuff with a knife, then halve and deseed.
Peel the garlic and shallot, roughly slice the shallot and place in a food processor with the edamame, chillies, 40ml of oil and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Blitz until super-smooth, adding a splash of water to loosen, if needed. Have a taste and adjust with more vinegar, sea salt and black pepper. Scrape into a bowl, cover and set aside.
For the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl with 240ml each of vinegar and water and 1 teaspoon of fine salt. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
For the rice rolls, start by prepping the veg. Scrub the carrots, then shave into long ribbons along with the cucumber. Pick the chervil and tarragon, finely slice the grapes and the radishes. Separate the lettuce leaves, wash and dry, then arrange everything, including the micro herbs and beansprouts, on a large platter ready for your guests to assemble. Don’t forget you will need to soak the rice paper in water for about 40 seconds before making up your rolls.
For the tempura, break the cauliflower into large florets. Whisk the flour with 600ml cold water until you have a smooth batter.
Half-fill a large sturdy pan with about 2 litres of oil (or use a deep-fat fryer) and place on a medium to high heat. Use a thermometer to get it to 180°C, or test with a cube of bread – if it floats and turns golden, you’ll be about right. If the oil starts to smoke at any point, reduce the heat a little.
Dip the cauliflower in the batter and fry for about 5 minutes, or until golden and crisp – you will need to do this in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon to kitchen paper and season. Get everyone seated and let your guests make up their own rolls with a bit of everything while you get on with frying the next batch.
Store any leftover shallots and their pickling liquid in a jar in the fridge for adding to salads, cheese toasties and more. You know it makes sense!