The recipe for these asian vegetable cigars was accidental. I was saving the mixture from a failed attempt at making vegan and gluten free dumplings. I think I got a little too ambitious with trying to make them gluten free. I will attempt it again though using different flour.
So I was standing there in the kitchen with a dough that was cracking like crazy and wouldn’t really work and had all this mixture that now had no home. So I thought to myself, what can I create with this mixture now?
I went back to my childhood of eating filo pastry with spinach and ricotta – which we call burek. You can make it with so many different fillings, but my family was vegetarian so that was the most popular combination in our household.
I decided to go and buy some filo pastry and create these gorgeous asian inspired cigars and add some other herbs and spices like coriander and turmeric. I also thought that the addition of tamari and toasted sesame seeds as a dipping sauce would add another layer of flavour.
So by mistake, this recipe was born. I was really happy with the way that they turned out and they are so easy and quick to make! Especially when you can put all the vegetables through a food processor. Here is a photo version of how I was rolling them. It’s super easy and really no skill is required.
- 1 small onion, grated
- 6 medium sized mushrooms, grated
- 1.5 cups carrot, grated
- 1 cup cabbage, grated
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ⅓ cup coriander, chopped
- ⅓ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- 6 sheets of filo pastry, cut in half to create 12 sheets
- ¼ cup Tamari sauce
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and grease a flat baking tray.
- Combine all the grated vegetables, turmeric, coriander ½ cup of the olive oil and season to taste. Mix well.
- Only bring out the filo pastry when you are ready to start rolling them as otherwise the pastry will dry up and start cracking on the corners.
- Use 2 sheets at a time, placing ½ cup of the filling in the middle lengthways. (see images above)
- Place the two short edges over the filling then roll making sure you pull the pastry tight over the filling - not too tight as you will tear the pastry. Work with it delicately.
- Place the cigar with the edge facing down on the baking tray and grease it with the oil.
- Repeat this process until all the filling is gone. You should get about 6 cigars.
- Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the pastry is brown and crispy.
- Take out of the oven and spray a little water on them to bring down the puffiness and place a tea towel over them for around 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with tamari and toasted sesame seed sauce.
These are a great entree or as a snack when you need to grab something on the run. Keep them in the fridge, they will last around 3-4 days.