- 12 spring roll wrappers (rice paper)
- 6 oz. firm tofu (not silken)
- 2 T. or more soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg's liquid aminos
- 6 oz. thin rice noodles (vermicelli)
- 48 fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 head leaf lettuce
- 3 shredded carrots (optional)
- spring roll sauce (see below)
This recipe makes 12 rolls.
You can get the spring roll wrappers at an oriental grocery store,
and they will keep on your shelf indefinitely. They are fragile;
keep them flat and handle them gently. Be sure they are made of
rice. You CANNOT substitute egg roll wrappers in this recipe. The
round ones, about 8 1/2 inches in diameter, are the easiest to work
with. I like the Flying Goose brand, although the brand with a rose
on the front works well, too.
Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch slices. Pat dry with paper towels.
Press it for an hour or so if you have time. Put the tofu slices
on a nonstick cookie pan. Add the soy sauce, trying to keep it
on the tofu as much as possible. Bake at 325 for about 45 minutes,
turning occasionally and adding more soy sauce if they look like
they can absorb more. When they are nice and brown and dry, cut
them into strips, about the size of French fries. You will need
one strip per spring roll. (If you don't have time to bake the
tofu, cut it into strips and fry it with the soy sauce on a nonstick
skillet for a few minutes, carefully turning each strip, trying
to crisp it up a little on each side.) Set aside.
Wash and dry the lettuce. Tear it into 3 or 4 inch pieces, removing
stems and crisp veins. Your lettuce needs to be on the limp side.
Any crisp pieces will tear the spring roll wrappers when you try
to roll them.
Wash and dry the mint. Remove all stems! Set aside. (If you
can't get fresh mint, you can substitute fresh cilantro, but the
spring rolls will taste completely different, and my family would
rather I not make them if I don't have mint.)
Shred or grate the carrots. Again, they need to be small enough
pieces that they are not crisp. You may prefer your spring rolls
without the carrots.
Throw the rice vermicelli into boiling water and cook until
just done, about 2 or 3 minutes. Pour into a colander, and rinse
with cool water. The noodles need to be well drained and cool
enough to handle. Set aside.
Put an inch or two of water in a pan that is big enough to hold
the spring rolls. (Cool water works fine). Separate the wrappers,
and stack them in the water, making sure each one is completely
covered with water before putting in the next one. Leave the wrappers
in the water until they are flexible (about 2 or 3 minutes). Remove
the whole stack at once, and place them on a clean wet kitchen
towel, covering them with another damp towel.
Now you are ready to assemble them. Carefully remove one wrapper
and put it on another surface (I use a bamboo sushi mat, but you
could easily use another damp towel. If you use a plate, dump
off the excess water between each spring roll.) Working quickly,
put onto the wrapper 3 or 4 small pieces of lettuce, 4 leaves
of mint, a handful of rice noodles, one strip of tofu, and a few
tablespoons of carrots if desired. Quickly fold the bottom of
the wrapper over the pile, fold in the sides, and continue to
roll up. After I've done four or five, I wrap each in plastic
wrap to keep them from drying out too much. If one of them is
falling apart, wrap it in plastic wrap immediately. Have a piece
of plastic wrap cut and ready in case one is falling apart. (If
you are serving them to company, start over with a new wrapper
on the ones that are falling apart.) If a lot of them are falling
apart, then something may not be drained well enough, or you may
be trying to fill them too full, or some of your wrappers may
be defective with too many tears and holes, or too thin.
Serve cold or room temperature with sauces of your choice. NOTE:
you do not EVER cook these spring rolls. When you finish rolling
them up, they are done! They will keep in the refrigerator for
a day or two. They travel well for lunches and outings. For an
appetizer, serve one or two per person. As a main course, count
on at least three per person.
SAUCES: These are good with a peanut sauce, but that wouldn't
be fatfree. They are also good with a plum sauce. If anyone has
a good plum sauce recipe, please send it to me. I serve them with
the sweet sauce below AND a bottled chili sauce (I like Sriracha
Hot Chili Sauce, made by Huy Fong Foods, Inc.)
Sweet Sauce For Spring Rolls
Makes enough for about 3 dozen spring rolls.
- 4 T. sugar
- 1/4 c. soy sauce
- 1 c. broth or water
- 2 T. corn starch
- 1/4 c. cold water
- 1 clove garlic, crushed with 1/4 ts. salt
Combine sugar, soy sauce, and broth. Bring to a boil. Add corn starch
mixed smoothly with the cold water, and stir until the mixture thickens
some. Simmer, stirring for 1 minute. Stir in garlic. Serve any temperature.