Taste of Asia Week Continues

I just realized I have made nothing but various Asian foods this week. I promise I eat everything. I guess I’m just on some sort of kick. I tend to do that. I was at my friend’s place after the Tool concert last week, enjoying a beer, when somehow spring rolls came up. She had the glass noodles and rice wraps in her pantry. I almost took them off her hands for her. Almost. Of course, after that, I couldn’t get spring rolls out of my head. I had some at a local Vietnamese restaurant Saturday, and they were underwhelming. The peanut sauce was awesome, but the rolls themselves lacked flavor.

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I am not intimidated by new adventures in the kitchen. I have never worked with spring roll wrappers before, let alone wrap up anything other than a burrito, and usually those turn into tacos because it’s just easier. I watched a spring roll tutorial on YouTube to find out how to handle the wrappers. It’s very simple.

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I put tofu in mine, and I like to add flavor anywhere and everywhere that I can. I made a marinade using my peanut paste recipe. First off, you want to press the tofu to get as much water out as possible. I like extra-firm tofu for this recipe. Cut the block into four equal slabs, and use two for this recipe. I made some feta out of the other half. That’s a different post, though. Lay the tofu slabs on a plate lined with paper towels, cover with more paper towel, place another plate or cutting board on top, and place two cans of beans or soup on top to press the liquid out. You will have to wring out the paper towels a few times, but once all the water is out, you are ready to wrap! Slice the tofu into thin strip like I have in the picture above. Massage the peanut paste into all the pieces and slice up the white part of a green onion to add to it. Refrigerate for about two hours.

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While that is soaking up that yummy sauce, slice up your veggies. Use whatever sounds good to you. If you want to add noodles, go ahead and boil them now so that they have a chance to cool off before assembly time. I used soba noodles, red and yellow bell pepper, shredded carrots, avocado, cilantro, mint, green onion, and cucumber soaked in lime juice and black pepper. You will want to have everything set up in sort of an assembly line before you get started. Don’t forget a plate to put the finished spring rolls on and a giant bowl of water to dip the wrappers into. You will want a towel close by too.

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Start by quickly dipping a wrapper into the water on both sides. You don’t want to soak it. Just get it moist. Lay the wrapper down and begin filling. I laid the avocado down first, herbs over that, tofu, veggies, and a few drops of sriracha. Don’t overfill the rolls and try to keep the filling in the center. Next, fold the sides of the wrapper that are to the top and bottom of the filling over.

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Fold one side over on top of the filling, then roll into spring rolls.

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That’s my first-ever handmade, homemade spring roll. It’s super easy. I ended up with 11. I also made another batch of peanut paste and thinned it with some water to make a dipping sauce.

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Recipe:

  • 2 servings of Peanut Paste, divided
  • 1/2 block of extra-firm tofu, pressed
  • 1 green onion, chopped, white part separated
  • Herbs of choice (I used cilantro and mint)
  • Noodles of choice (optional)
  • Vegetables of choice (I used cucumber soaked in lime and pepper, shredded carrots, red and yellow bell pepper)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Sriracha (optional)
  • Water

Thoroughly coat the tofu in one serving of peanut paste and refrigerate two hours.

Slice your vegetable, clean your herbs, boil your pasta.

Make an assembly line to facilitate the wrapping process.

Dip a wrapper in the water to moisten both sides.

Place on a plate or cutting board and begin to fill by stacking the avocado first, herbs next, tofu, veggies, and finishing with some sriracha.

Fold the sides of the wrapper that are to the top and bottom of the filling over. Fold one of the remaining sides over the filling. Continuing rolling into spring rolls.

Add some water to the remaining peanut paste to make a dipping sauce.


 

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