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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Crispy Tofu Spring Rolls (Vegan)

Want a healthy and delicious appetizer for your meal tonight?   This recipe is incredibly easy to make and is extremely versatile (aka use up leftover veggies in your fridge!).  Make them non-vegan (highly recommend adding panko shrimp!).  Or, make them no oil friendly (by skipping the fried tofu step and simply adding thin strips of firm tofu instead.).


10-12 rice wrappers
4 oz rice vermicelli (thin noodles)
1 pack extra firm tofu, drained and dried with a towel
3 tablespoons sesame oil (or, sub canola oil)
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch mint, chopped
4-5 green onions, sliced into very thin strips
15-20 Thai basil leaves (look for this at your local Asian grocery store, or sub American basil)
15-20 spinach leaves (or, sub another leafy vegetable)
2-3 chopped Serrano peppers into fine pieces *optional*
1/2 cup other veggies, sliced into very thin strips (carrots, bell peppers, etc) *optional*

1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy (or, sub almond butter)
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3-5 tablespoons water (depending on how thick of a dipping sauce you would like)


Following these instructions exactly will provide the best results.

1. Prepare the vermicelli rice noodles by boiling them
 for 3-5 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  These should be al dente and not soggy.
2. Cut the tofu into thin and small rectangles, making sure to pat dry each strip.
3. In a fry pan, add sesame oil and warm over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the tofu and fry on all sides until golden brown.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Remove from fry pan and set aside.
4. To assemble spring rolls, add hot water to a skillet.  Keep the skillet on low heat until all spring rolls are assembled.
5. Prepare the first spring roll, by taking one rice wrapper and carefully soaking it in the hot water for about 5-7 seconds.
6. Transfer the soaked rice wrapper to a damp surface such as a cutting board or plate.  Make sure all edges are not folded over, and that you maintain the original circular shape.
7. In the bottom third of the wrapper, and a small handful of vermicelli noodles and layer the tofu, cilantro, mint, green onions, Thai basil, spinach, the optional serrano peppers, and the optional other vegetables.
8. Tuck in the left and right edges.  Then, from the bottom, gently roll all the fillings once over, making sure that the fillings stay together.  Finally, continue rolling to the end of the wrapper.  See this video if you need a visual!
9. Place the spring roll seam side down on a serving platter and cover with a damp paper towel.  Repeat steps 4-9, until all your fillings are used.
10.  Serve with the sauce, which is easily prepared by mixing the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and water together.  Alternatively, you can serve these with a sweet and sour sauce or a hot sauce of your choice.
11.  Enjoy!  If you have leftover spring rolls or will not be eating the rolls within the next couple of hours, individually wrap each spring roll in cellophane wrap and store in the fridge.


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