Monday, August 30, 2010

Tofu Spring Rolls

Tofu Spring Rolls

I love spring rolls! They are such a light but filling treat. The idea for spring rolls had manifested in my mind weeks ago. And the other night, I was sitting at home doing homework when I was suddenly overcome by the sudden urge to cook. (SHOCKER!) Knowing that I had ample supplies with which to work from (I had just gone shopping), I immediately set up my workspace in the kitchen to whip up a few of these babies.

My workspace included: A large, shallow bowl for dipping the rice paper rolls into, a pot of water for the rice noodles, and a pan for sauteing the tofu block that I had already pressed. The rice noodles take only minutes to prepare. They only cook for about 6 minutes in the boiling water and then you can just drain the water out and set them aside until you're ready to use them. Next up: the tofu: Into the pan went a marinade mixture of soy sauce, toasted sesame seed oil, a pinch of ground ginger and a splash of EVOO. The tofu, which I had already sliced into long, thin strips, was next in the pot. A few minutes on each side and then into a dish with a paper towel to drain off the excess liquid.

As for the rice paper rolls, all you need to do is make sure you have a dish that is large enough to hold whatever size your wrappers are. I happened to use a glass pie dish with about a 1/4 inch of water. The sheets of rice paper only need to sit in the water for about 45 seconds to a minute. Careful though: If they sit too long they will become mush! After you soak the wrapper, you should remove it from the water and lay it onto a flat surface. Now you're ready to add the stuffing and roll it up.

The insides of a spring roll are entirely up to the chef making them and also whatever happens to be at his or her disposal. In my case, I happened to have a bag of shredded broccoli, red cabbage and carrots, as well as a small head of lettuce. Into the spring roll it went with a few strips of the marinated tofu, a small handful of the rice noodles and a few pieces of lettuce. I rolled it all up and that was it! SUPER simple!

As for a dipping sauce, I simply seasoned some Hoisin sauce with some chili oil until it was just spicy enough and I was good to go. Seriously it was THAT easy.

Alright folks, that's all I have for you for now. Stay tuned...more vegan goodies to come!

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