Spring Rolls With Shredded Kohlrabi

Photo by Andrew Scrivani for the New York Times

Kohlrabi will be in the farm share this week from Glade Road Growing.  You can cook this milder sweeter descendant of wild cabbage in a variety of ways.  When it comes to the bulbs, you can  bake or roast 'em, pickle 'em,  stew 'em (I love them in curries),  saute 'em and braise 'em.  Or don't cook them at all.  This recipe is in the last category, because, hey it's hot come summer. 

The greens and stems, by the way, are also edible.  I'd suggest that you fix them as you would kale or collards.  Or, if they are too tough, after steaming them lightly, puree and add to soups, hot or cold.)


Serves 4

The inspiration for using kohlrabi in a spring roll was Martha Rose Shulman, but her recipe uses rice sticks, while I prefer mung bean threads.  She uses tofu and I use tempeh. 


2  ounces mung bean threads
1 package of tempeh, sliced into pieces 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch thick
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 small kohlrabi, peeled and cut into matchsticks (make sure to remove fibrous layer just under the skin before shredding)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, cut in julienne
1/4 teaspoon of demerara sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, plus 16 sprigs
1/2 cup of slivered basil, plus 8 leaves
1/2 cup of chopped mint leaves, plus 16 leaves
8  8 1/2-inch rice flour spring roll wrappers
1 tablespoon of ground, roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon of miso
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes


1.  Place the bean threads in a large bowl and cover with boiling water.  Soak for 15 to 20 minutes until the noodles are pliable, then drain and transfer  to another bowl. Using kitchen scissors, cut the noodles into roughly 6-inch lengths. Pat dry. Leave the warm water in the bowl for softening the wrappers.

2.  Blanch carrot in boiling water until softened, about 45 seconds. Drain. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

3. Toss the shredded kohlrabi with salt to taste and let sit in a colander placed in the sink for 20 to 30 minutes to drain. Squeeze out excess liquid and toss with the sugar, lime juice carrot, ginger, chopped cilantro, slivered basil and chopped mint leaves. Let stand 5 minutes.  Drain the pickled vegetables, reserving the marinade.

4.  One at a time, place a rice flour wrapper in the bowl of warm water until just softened. Remove from the water and drain briefly on a kitchen towel. Place the softened wrapper on your work surface and put a line of tempeh slices in the middle of the wrapper, slightly nearer the edge closest to you, leaving a 1 1/2-inch margin on the sides. Place a small handful of noodles over the tempeh, then place a handful of the shredded vegetable mixture over the noodles. Lay a couple of sprigs of cilantro and a Thai basil leaf and a couple of mint leaves on top. Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll up tightly. Arrange on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.

5. Cover rolls with damp paper towels and then plastic wrap.

6.  To make dipping sauce, whisk together peanuts, sesame oil, miso and pepper flakes and thin, as desired, with the marinade.  Refrigerate.

Serve within four hours.

Some past recipes for kohlrabi:
Roasted Veggie, Chickpea and Collard Salad with Tahini Dressing Kohlrabi Home Fries
Kohlrabi Fritters with Tzatziki (Greek Cumber Yogurt Dill Sauce)Kohlrabi Apple Carrot Slaw