It’s late morning, Saturday. The sun is shining and the idea of spending time indoors cooking seems a waste of a warm and sunny day. You wander out into the street, walk past the McDonald’s restaurant and continue on past the fryers at the fish and chips shop, determined to find something healthy for lunch that is both take away and cheap. Turn the corner into the main street, and your local Vietnamese bakery will always save the day.
A light and crunchy long roll, just baked, is swept from a large metal baker’s basket, sliced open and filled with a delicious salad of thinly sliced greens and pressed meat, mayonnaise, chilli, coriander and soy sauce. And it is one of the most economical and quickest take away options available at c. $3 a serve. Miraculously, despite also buying half a dozen plain long rolls to take home, you still manage to exit the bakery with change from a $5 note.
It’s Sunday morning, early. Your urge to cook has now returned, but there’s hardly anything in the house except those six long rolls from the Vietnamese bakery which are now a day old and looking a little tired. The following recipe provides a solution. Littlebaking transforms the classic Vietnamese roll into a Vegetarian breakfast special.
3-4 cubes of hard tofu (sprinkle with a spice mix of cumin, coriander, white pepper & paprika)
1 spring onion (what we home cooks in Sydney colloquially call shallots)
Small handful of fresh coriander
Soy sauce, mayonnaise & chopped chilli (in each case, to taste)
1 fresh long roll from your local baker
2 free range eggs & 1 tablespoon water (whisked together)
Grab two small frying pans. Add olive oil to one pan, fry cubes of spiced tofu in a pan until nicely browned. Once cooked, cut into small slices to make it easier to eat. Meanwhile in the other pan, medium to high heat, melt a teaspoon of butter and quickly cook the scrambled eggs.
Butter roll or use mayonnaise if preferred. Slice spring onion into thin long strips, and use as the foundation layer within the roll, then add coriander and layer up tofu and scrambled egg on top. Add soy sauce and chilli last. We usually add the warm ingredients (tofu & scrambled eggs) on top of the shallots and coriander because it softens them and seems to activate and enhance the flavour. Salt isn’t usually necessary because of the soy sauce. We toast the roll or cook it face down in a frying pan before assembling. This step helps restore the bread to it’s former glory as a crusty roll, and adds extra flavour.