Tofu Spring Rolls

Photo Credit: Allyson Kramer
    30 min
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These spring rolls could also be considered "salad rolls" and are inspired by Gỏi cuốn, the always delicious spring rolls found in Vietnamese restaurants. These types of rolls can be made with a variety of ingredients, but the kind I most often encounter are stuffed with rice vermicelli and tofu, which I've included in this recipe.

Feel free to sub in different vegetables if you wish, but I recommend slicing julienne style for best flavor/texture regardless of which veggies you include. And don't forget the sauce! The delectable dip that compliments the spring rolls really takes this appetizer over the top. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 cup (approximate) cooked rice vermicelli [see note in recipe]
  • 1 block smoked tofu
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 small cucumber, julienned
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • 24 fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 12 rice paper wraps
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons red bean paste
  • 1 tablespoons crushed peanuts

How to Make It

To soften rice vermicelli, follow the [package directions. Some varieties have longer prep times than others. The general rule is to only soak the rice vermicelli in hot water, rather than boiling the noodles as you would with semolina pasta. Soak until the noodles have softened, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Slice into 3 inch long ropes.

Slice the tofu into thin strips, about 1/2 inch x 1/4 inch x 3 inches. Place the carrot, cucumber, grated lemongrass and soy sauce into a bowl and toss gently to combine.

Prepare a clean flat surface to roll up your spring rolls; I find a large clean cutting board works well for this. Gently run one rice wrap under cold running water just to get the wrap wet. The wrap will further soften once removed from the water, so do not allow it to remain in the water stream for too long.

Place the softened wrap onto the clean cutting board and layer with filling: first add 2 leaves of basil and some cilantro. Next add a few strands of rice vermicelli, then one or two strips tofu, then some of the mixed vegetables. Finally top with a bit of the carrot cucumber mixture and then wrap up tightly.

To roll them up: first tuck in the bottom of the circle (any side can technically be the "bottom"), then fold in the sides, and finally close the top and press firmly to seal. Work quickly so that the papers do not become too sticky as they rest. Also, be sure to only wet one rice wrap at a time.

Repeat with the remaining 11 rice papers or until all ingredients have been used.

Make the sauce by whisking all of the sauce ingredients (except for the crushed peanuts) together into a small bowl. Garnish with the crushed peanuts and serve with the spring rolls.