Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Fresh Herb & Tofu Summer Rolls

 Lately I've been feeling uninspired in the kitchen, so I usually go back to eating things I love or want to eat more of: enter the spring/summer roll. They are fairly quick, easy to make, and can be made with whatever you want! I chose pretty simple ingredients, but you can substitute or change anything. My only rule is do not skip the fresh herbs. It makes a huge difference in eating a bland spring roll without them. I also want to say that I was afraid of making spring rolls for the longest time, which is silly because of how easy they are. Don't be afraid! You will be so proud and then kick yourself for ever thinking these were difficult (like I did).

Fresh Herb & Tofu Summer Rolls
Makes 12 (or more)

  • 1 package spring roll wrappers
  • 14 oz. extra-firm tofu, pressed for at least 30 minutes and cut into thin strips
  • 1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil/olive oil
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 green onions, green & white parts, sliced
  • 2-3 cups of shredded romaine/iceberg lettuce
  • 2.5 TBS fresh mint leaves
  • 2.5 TBS fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2.5 TBS fresh Thai basil leaves (or regular basil)
  1. Make sure all of your ingredients are prepped before you start rolling. I like to put my filling ingredients on the largest plate I have, so I can easily grab and roll. Make sure you have a cutting board or plate to roll on too (cutting board is recommended).
  2. Preheat a large skillet on medium-high. Add about 1-2 tsp of sesame oil. Add the tofu strips and cook 5 minutes, until browned. If the tofu starts to stick, add a little more oil as needed. Flip, cook 5 mins more until browned/crispy and remove to a plate. Feel free to skip this step completely and leave the tofu raw.
  3. Fill a large skillet with enough water to submerge a spring roll paper. Bring to a boil, then gently simmer on low. 
  4. There may be a way to do this without slightly burning your fingers, but this is how I do it (mostly because my fingers are used to burns). Grab a spring roll paper. Place it in the water. When you notice the edges coming up, gently press them down into the water. Submerge for 10-15 seconds (or according to your package directions).
  5. When removing the paper from the water, gently try to stretch it out to its original shape, which you can do more successfully on the cutting board. Just be careful not to tear!
  6. In the middle of your paper (I tend to do middle but slightly more towards the bottom, leaving some space), put a small handful of lettuce. Top with 2-3 slices of tofu, then 1 slice of avocado. Add a sprinkling of green onions then place a few of each herb leaves of top.
  7. Gently fold the sides in towards the filling. Take the bottom of the wrapper and gently, yet tightly, roll upwards and over the filling until the spring roll is wrapped. You did it! Yay!
  8. Feel free to serve with Thai peanut sauce, sweet chili sauce or sriracha. These definitely get better after sitting in the fridge for a bit.

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