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Street food that will leave the family wanting more 

New year, new flavours! The spontaneity of authentic street food will breathe new life into your kitchen – and leave the family asking for seconds. 

Mushroom and peanut vegetarian spring rolls 

Makes 12-14 

These spring rolls work well with just about any green or soft veggies – perfect for clearing out your fridge! Change the dipping sauce to serve up something new every week.  


2 tsp vegetable oil 
4 spring onions, finely sliced 
2 tsp five-spice powder (or use a pinch of each cinnamon, cloves and white pepper) 
1 punnet (150g) mixed exotic mushrooms, chopped 
1 cup finely sliced cabbage 
1 carrot, grated 
2-3 baby marrows, finely sliced 
1/3 cup peanuts, toasted and finely chopped 
1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped 
12-14 spring roll wrappers 
Oil, for deep-frying  


  1. Heat oil in a large non-stick pan. 
  2. Sauté spring onion with five-spice until softened, remove and set aside. 
  3. Fry mushrooms in batches until golden. (Don’t overcrowd the pan or too much water will be released). Remove and set aside. 
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the spring onion with cabbage, carrot, baby marrow, peanuts and coriander, toss through mushroom mixture. 
  5. Divide the mixture into 12-14 small portions. 
  6. Arrange one portion of veggie mixture and mushrooms at the base of a spring roll wrapper. 
  7. Fold the long sides over slightly, then roll the filling upward and over to enclose. Brush the end of the wrapper with some water and seal. 
  8. Repeat with remaining fillings and wrappers. 
  9. Deep-fry spring rolls until golden, serve with a dip or whip up one of our quick sauces below.


Sauce it up  

These dipping sauces last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge so make them in bulk, or as part of your meal prep, and serve with spring rolls. You can also use the sauces as a dressing for stir-fries, salads or tortilla wraps. 

Vietnamese dipping sauce  

Makes 2/3 cup  

Mix ¼ cup each water and fish sauce and juice of 2 limes with 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 finely chopped lemongrass stalk, 1-2 finely chopped chillies and 1-2 crushed garlic cloves. Stir the mixture thoroughly until sugar dissolves, season to taste and serve. 

Green chilli dipping sauce  

Makes ½ cup  

Blitz together 1 cup fresh coriander, ¼ cup chives, 2cm knob grated ginger, 1 chopped green chilli, juice of 2 limes and ¼ cup rice wine vinegar in a food processor. Serve. 

Peanut dipping sauce  

Makes 1 ¼ cups  

Heat a glug of oil in a pot and fry 1 finely chopped onion, 1 crushed garlic clove and 1 tsp chilli flakes until softened. Stir through 1 Tbsp each sugar and soy sauce, 3 Tbsp peanut butter and 1 cup coconut milk. Simmer until thick and serve.  

Sweet & sour dipping sauce  

Makes ½ cup  

Pour ¼ cup each rice wine vinegar and sugar, 2 Tbsp each tomato sauce, soy sauce and grated ginger in a bowl. Heat a glug of oil and fry 1 chopped onion, 2 crushed garlic cloves and 2cm knob grated ginger until fragrant. Add sugar mixture and stir through 1 tsp cornflour dissolved in 1 Tbsp water until thickened. Serve with spring rolls. 

Also read: Green falafel ‘soil’ with yoghurt tahini sauce and poached eggs

Cubano sandwiches with rum onions 

Serves 8 

You can buy rare roast beef at the deli counter, or thinly slice braai steak instead. 


Glug oil 
1 Tbsp butter 
2 onions, sliced 
¼ cup rum (optional) 
16 slices ciabatta 
¼ cup Dijon mustard
24 slices roast beef
16 slices Emmental 
4 gherkins, thinly sliced 


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a pan, then fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened. 
  2. Increase heat and add rum, if using. Cook until evaporated. 
  3. Smear 8 slices of bread with the mustard. 
  4. Top with the beef, cheese, gherkin and fried onion. Then, sandwich together with the remaining slices. 
  5. Toast the sandwiches over an open fire or you can use a hot non-stick pan. Do this until the cheese has melted, turning frequently.


Tropical fruit sorbet with toasted coconut 

Makes 2L 

Switch up the flavours by blending together frozen mixed berries, papaya or kiwi instead.  


750g fresh mango, chopped and frozen 
750g fresh pineapple, chopped and frozen 
1 cup chilled coconut milk 
½ cup pineapple juice  

To serve  

Handful fresh mint, torn
Handful coconut flakes, toasted 
Ice cream cones (optional) 


  1. Add frozen fruit, coconut milk and pineapple juice to a food processor and blitz until smooth. 
  2. Decant into a 2L freezer-safe container and freeze for about 3 hours until firm. 
  3. 3. Scoop into bowls or onto cones. Sprinkle with fresh mint and coconut flakes to serve.


Pilchard fish cakes with steamed garlic buns 

Serves 4 

These thrifty steamed buns prove that takeout-style street food isn’t just reserved for holidays. Change up the filling with pulled pork or sliced BBQ basted pork neck steaks. 


5 cloves garlic, grated 
3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley 
500g store-bought bread dough 
1 Tbsp sesame or vegetable oil  

For the fishcakes  

1 onion, finely chopped 
1 can (400g) pilchards in tomato sauce 
¾ cup cake flour 
Salt and milled pepper 
2 Tbsp oil, for frying 

For the dressing  

¼ cup plain yoghurt 
Grated zest of 1 lemon 
1 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander 


  1. Knead garlic and parsley into dough, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise for 30 minutes. 
  2. Divide dough into 4 equal portions, cover and leave to rise for another 15 minutes. 
  3. Roll portions out into 3mm thick discs. 
  4. Place a square of baking paper on one side of each disc and fold over, creating a half-moon. Brush each side with oil of choice. 
  5. Steam buns in a bamboo steamer over a pot of simmering water for 15-20 minutes, until fluffy but firm. 
  6. Combine fishcake ingredients, shape into 8 medium-sized cakes and chill. 
  7. Heat oil and shallow-fry fishcakes for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Drain on kitchen towel. 
  8. Combine dressing ingredients. 
  9. Serve fishcakes in buns topped with dressing.

Cook’s tip: 
Instead of a bamboo steamer, place a colander over simmering water, ensuring it doesn’t touch the water. Add two or three buns into the colander, cover with a towel and steam until pulled and firm. 

Also read: Buddha bowl with pilchards 

Pretzel dogs 

Serves 8 

Pretzel meets corndogs, and we couldn’t be happier! This is sure to be a family favourite.  


500g store-bought white bread dough 
8 German bratwurst sausages 
8 cups (2L) water 
¼ cup bicarbonate of soda 
Coarse salt, for seasoning 
German or dijon mustard, for dipping 


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C 
  2. Roll bread dough out on a floured surface to 5mm thick. Cut into 3cm- wide strips. 
  3. Wrap strips around sausages, pinching ends together. 
  4. Combine the water and bicarbonate of soda in a pot and bring to a rolling boil. 
  5. Place 2 pretzel dogs in boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute, or until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon. 
  6. Place on a lined baking tray and sprinkle with coarse salt. 
  7. Repeat with all of the remaining pretzels. 
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and caramelised. 
  9. Serve with mustard for dipping and cold beer.

Cook’s tip: 
Substitute bratwurst for any cooked or smoked sausage. You can also use cooked chipolatas for smaller pretzel dog bites. 

Words by: Sjaan Van Der Ploeg
Photography: Fresh living magazine


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