Not Eating Out in Shanghai

RAWK has received letters from some of you, asking for advice on how to eat right on a budget. We decided to take action and to share with you some of our favorite cheap, yet healthy dishes that are easy to make and that incorporate ingredients, which you can find at any local market or supermarket in Shanghai.  


For our latest food & lifestyle feature we tried a recipe that is truly good for the stomach and even better for our wallet!




Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls are affordable and surprisingly easy to make. If you go for seasonal and fresh ingredients, these rolls make a nutritious, filling and healthy meal, loaded with Southeast Asian flavors. Besides the rice noodles and rice paper, which you will find at the supermarket for about RMB 15 each, you can find all other ingredients at any local market for RMB 19 (excluding oils & vinegars).


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Fresh Spring Rolls:
3 carrots
1 cucumber
1 bell pepper (choose your favorite color)
1-2 fresh chili (optional)
1 bundle cilantro (alternatively mint, basil, etc.)
150 grams extra firm tofu
1 bag vermicelli noodles (the thinner the better)
1 pack rice paper
2 tbs. sesame oil
favorite seasonings

Dipping Sauce:

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 juice of lemon
1 chili (optional)
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water
Dash of Sriracha sauce (optional)




Cut tofu in finger long slices, marinate them in sesame oil and your favorite seasoning mix. I like it spicy, therefore I went for the hot chili powder that my flatmate brought me from his trip to Xinjiang province. Other options are cumin, curry, paprika or turmeric powder. For a perfectly seasoned, slightly crispy (and less healthy) tofu you can choose to add two tablespoons of corn starch and a pinch of brown sugar to your marinade. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes.




Slice all vegetables thinly, mix together or keep in separate bowls aside. Expand the variety and add napa cabbage, spring onion or avocado. Boil rice noodles for 5-7 minutes, drain and keep in a separate bowl aside. Soak one sheet of rice paper in warm water until the paper has softened. Place the rice paper on a cutting board and let the magic happen:




  1. Place 1⁄2 cup of filling on the rice paper, slightly below the center, top the mound with 2 tofu slices.
  2. Pick up the edge closest to you and fold the rice paper up and over the mound
  3. Fold the right and left sides toward the center
  4. Pull the spring roll gently toward you as you roll it up burrito style.




In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce. For the extra kick add fresh chili or a dash of Sriracha. If you are craving for a savory (yet healthy) nut-based (instead of vinegar-based sauce), replace the Sriracha with honey and add 1/3 cup of raw peanut butter.




Hungry for more? In next week’s Food & Lifstyle feature we will be back with another tummy-yummy recipe from the other side of this globe: “In 7 Bowls around the World” is RAWK’s answer to a boring kitchen routine and your chance to learn more about the cultures and people behind the super foods. Be there next week and explore a whole new palette of flavors with us! Here a hint: to get the recipe we rode an Alpaca.


Yours sincerely,

The RAWK team