There’s no microwave where I work, so I was on a quest to figure out a cold vegan dinner option I could bring with me. I settled on homemade spring rolls! They have rice noodles, veggies, and fried tofu inside, with a super amazing peanut dipping sauce.
I adapted Minimalist Baker’s recipe for Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Crispy Tofu to make these, and they turned out really well and lasted for several dinners and lunches.
I used this tofu press that a family member got me to remove moisture from the tofu. It’s my most fun kitchen gadget.
I filled my spring rolls with a rainbow of vegetables. The fresh mint is really what makes these taste like spring rolls I’ve eaten at restaurants.
I fried the tofu and then cooked it in some of the delicious peanut sauce. In the original recipe, Minimalist Baker made an almond butter dipping sauce, but I only had peanut butter in the house so I improvised. I’m glad that I did because I loved the peanut sauce so much.
The wrapping process didn’t go excellently for me, but I’d say I got a C+ on it. Not too bad for a first time spring roll wrapper.
Looking at this picture makes me realize I need to make some more of these now. I’m sure I’d get at least a B- this time.
For spring rolls:
1/2 c. red bell pepper, carrot, and cucumber, cut into small strips
4 oz. rice noodles
1/4 chopped scallions
8-10 spring roll rice papers
For peanut sauce:
1/3 c. peanut butter
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. chili garlic sauce
hot water to thin
For crispy tofu:
8 oz. package extra firm tofu (pressed and dried to remove as much moisture as possible)
oil for frying (I used olive oil)
3 tbsp. corn starch
First, make the peanut sauce by combining all ingredients and then adding hot water until it reaches a desired dipping sauce-like consistency. Cook rice noodles according to package. Then, coat dried tofu with corn starch. Heat oil on medium high in a pan and add tofu, frying until golden brown and crispy on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove tofu and add 2.5 tbsp. peanut sauce to a frying pan, on lower heat. Add in the tofu again. Gently stir to coat the tofu in the sauce for a couple minutes, and then remove from heat.
Now you’re ready to assemble your spring rolls. To soften the rice papers, you have to place them in a shallow dish of hot water for about 10 seconds. Then, place all fillings (rice noodles, veggies, mint, tofu) in the middle, and pretend you work at Chipotle and you’re an expert burrito folder. Set on a plate with the seam side down. These keep very well in the fridge. Enjoy!
Love and peanut sauce,