Ever have that food that you think you’ll never get sick of? Well, Vietnamese fresh spring rolls are it for me.
About a month ago, after coming back from the Total Health Show in Toronto, I had a hankering for them and got down to work! The thing is, even though I crave these little guys like people would fast food because they are portable, fresh and oh-so-flavorful, they are not “fast food” to make. They do require some chopping, marinating and frying (or grilling) but if you can employ some help from others you’ll get the job done lickety-split!
The results are totally worth it and they pack up great for lunch the next day. The day I brought them for lunch to work, I couldn’t stop thinking about them all morning since I was so excited to have them in my belly! I might just be a tad obsessed. 😉
The great thing about this recipe is that you can substitute a lot of different veggies depending on what you have and what you like. Sweet red pepper and bean sprouts would be lovely and so would substituting the cilantro with mint and basil (which are the herbs traditionally found in Vietnamese rolls). If you’re an omnivore, you can use leftover grilled chicken, beef or the traditional shrimp. I’ve even tried different dipping sauces that are nut based with peanuts or almonds, like this recipe here, but this time I stuck with a tamari based chili sauce. I hope you do take the time to make them because they are oh-so-worth-it!
A word of warning: don’t make these when you’re super hungry. You’ll end up simultaneously rolling and eating them while standing at the kitchen counter and instead of having a nice plateful of rolls to photograph, you’ll only have one. 🙂
- 1 pkg. organic sprouted tofu
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tbsp. gluten-free tamari
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 1/8 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. ground pepper
- 1-2 carrots, julienned
- 1/3 cucumber, julienned
- 2 green onions, julienned
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 pkg. rice wrappers
Chili Garlic Dipping Sauce
- 1 tbsp. chili paste (1 chili finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp. gluten-free tamari
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
1. Drain tofu and cut into 1/4″ slices. Mix curry powder, cumin, garlic, tamari, sesame oil, salt, pepper and coconut oil in a shallow dish (I used a 9″ pie plate). Place tofu in marinate and turn to coat. Let marinate for at least 30-40 minutes. The longer the better!
2. Fry tofu in batches in a fry pan (no additional oil is necessary) on all sides until slightly crispy. Lay on plate lined with paper towels.
3. Slice and julienne veggies for the filling and lay them out on a dish.
4. Fill a shallow dish with water and submerge one rice paper wrap for about a minute until it is soft and slightly transparent. Place the wrap on a cutting board or other flat surface.
5. Place 1-2 tofu strips, some carrots, cucumber, green onions and cilantro in the middle of the wrap. Roll up starting at the one end parallel to the ingredients. When you get halfway, fold the sides inwards to seal them. Then continue rolling until the end. A touch of water should help seal the wrapper together. Continue with another rice paper wrap until all ingredients are used up.
6. For the marinade, mix all the ingredients in the bowl until the coconut sugar is dissolved.
7. Dip and enjoy! (I dare you not to sneak samples whilst rolling them all!) 😉