Hey everyone, I’m participating in the Virtual Vegan Potluck. It’s a fun opportunity to connect with blogs from all over the world and share our favorite vegan recipes.
If you’re stopping by for the potluck, welcome!
For this potluck, I’m bringing these fresh tofu spring rolls and some peanut dipping sauce.
These spring rolls use rice paper, and I don’t fry the whole spring roll, although I did fry the tofu. You can find the rice paper, rice noodles, tofu, and Thai basil at your Asian grocery store.
Prepare the Tofu
First, press the tofu for about 15 minutes to prepare it. To press tofu, drain it, wrap it in a few layers of paper towels, place it on a plate and put something heavy on it. In my case, I use my cast iron.
Once you’re done pressing the tofu, pat it dry and place it on a cutting board to slice it. I sliced mine on the thin side, a little bit bigger than your finger.
Pour your flour into a bowl. The flour helps give the tofu its golden color when frying. Place each piece of tofu into the flour and cover it well on each side.
In a skillet, heat about a half-inch of oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Place the tofu in the skillet and cook until golden-brown, or about five minutes on each side.
When it’s done, drain the oil on a paper towel.
Prepare the Rice Noodles
Rice noodles take very little prep. You’ll be amazed. Pull apart about a cup of dry rice noodles. Place them in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cover the noodles completely with hot water. I heated up some water in a tea kettle, but don’t bring it to a boiling. Let them set for about five minutes, and they’ll be perfectly soft.
Prepare the Rice Paper Wrapping
Ok, so rice paper is a tricky thing. You’ll need patience and delicate fingers. Be prepared to lose a few wrappers in the process. I lost two. You’ll need something that’s large, round, and flat. I used my skillet (do not heat up the skillet). Fill it with about a half-inch of warm water and place the rice paper in it. Let the rice paper rest in the water until it’s completely soft and you can no longer see the textured pattern. This only takes a few seconds. It may try to curl up on you, simply push it down.
Once the rice paper is soft, gently pull it out of the water and give it a shake. Try your best to prevent it from folding up on itself. If it does, you can probably still rescue it, once you put it on a plate. Only soak one rice paper at a time.
The plate can be your best friend. I found using a plate that’s smaller than the paper, and one that has a dip in it can be very useful for helping you straighten out your rice paper. I also let my rice paper dangle on the edge of the place, so I could smooth it out.
The trick to assembling these is to avoid over stuffing them. Just remember, less is more. The delicate rice paper can’t handle a lot of stretching, so they’ll either tear, or you won’t be able to completely wrap them. The amount of filling depends on the size of your rice paper, but I try to keep my fillings about the size of my palm.
You can assemble however you’d like, but I put the lettuce first, since it helps keep everything contained. Place your fillings about 1/3 of the way down on the plate.
Rolling it up
Lightly fold the top 1/3 over the fillings, and then fold over the right and left sides one at a time. Once you have three sides folded, you can begin to roll it.
These are severed with the peanut dipping sauce, which can be found at the recipe below.
- 1 16 oz. package extra-firm tofu
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup dried rice noodles
- 11 pieces of rice paper
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 5 leaves lettuce
- Thai basil and/or mint
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 heaping tbsp peanut butter
- ¼ c hot water
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp peanuts, chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Press the tofu for 15 minutes, until well drained.
- Slice the tofu into ¼ inch thick pieces.
- Pour flour into a small mixing bowl.
- Place tofu in flour until well coated.
- Pour vegetable oil in a skillet. Warm over medium-high heat.
- Fry tofu in oil until golden brown, or 5 minutes on each side.
- When it has a nice golden brown color, place on a plate with a few napkins, to drain.
- Place rice noodles in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Immerse the noodles in hot water. Let set for 5 minutes, or until tender.
- When the noodles are tender, drain the water.
- Place the rice paper in a shallow pool of warm water for about 20 seconds, or until soft.
- Place the lettuce, tofu, noodles, carrots, and herbs in the middle of the rice paper, about ⅓ of the way down. The spring roll filling should not be larger than your palm. Do not over stuff. Carefully fold the rice paper around the fillings and roll it up.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, peanut butter, hot water, soy sauce, peanuts and sugar, until smooth.
Thanks again for joining me for this potluck. Please check out the rest of the blogs participating today.