Marinated Tofu & Veg Spring Rolls

Getting a decent breakfast into my bod each day remains a challenge. A  41 year old challenge. Between dealing with hypoglycemia, not being much of a morning person, not being a lover of sweet things (putting cereals and fruits and smoothies and yogurt and so many good breakfast things out of the race) but finding that auto-pilot-meets-hyper-focus element that mornings bring totally useful and thereby making it a very productive time for me, plus the heat and well…I’m a bit sunk in the getting-food-into-my-mouth department at this time of year.

But then I had a stroke of genius: COLD SPRING ROLLS!

Spring rolls are great breakfast food because they’re light, but filling. Get the right squish to crunch ratio and, contrary to popular belief, they hold up pretty well in the fridge for a few days, so you can have no-brainer breakfasts for days by making a bunch in advance. The marinated tofu in this recipe means you don’t have to fuss with dips because there’s already a lot of flavour going on, but a nice, spicy peanut and lime dip is rarely going to get turned down in my world.

If you’d like some guidance in choosing and working with rice paper rolls, this is my go-to post about all of that. Check out the rest of the author’s site, too, because it’s delightful.

This recipe makes 16 rolls.

What you need:

  • 1 420 g block of tofu, pressed
  • 1/4 cup soya sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 200 g rice noodles, cooked al dente
  • 32 snow peas
  • 3 carrots, matchstick cut
  • 1/2 cup of chives or green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch Thai basil
  • 1 bunch mint
  • More olive oil for lubing
  • A large bowl with hot water for wetting the rice wrappers

What you do:

  1. In a bowl, mix the soya sauce, sriracha sauce, olive oil, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, garlic and ginger powders until well combined to make your marinade.
  2. Cut the pressed tofu block lengthwise into eight roughly even slabs, the cut those slabs lengthwise in half.
  3. Put the tofu and the marinade in a container that can be sealed and give it a good shake to coat the tofu. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high and cook the tofu in the marinade until the tofu is heated through and the marinade has reduced significantly to a sticky goo. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  5. Brush the plate or container you intend to serve/store your rolls on/in with a little olive, veg or sesame oil. I used a glass, air tight container which will keep them good for up to five days (not that they’ll last that long).
  6. Divide your noodles into at least 4 equal piles, preferably 16 to make it easy to distribute them evenly among the rolls. You’d be surprised at how hard it is to eyeball noodle amounts and we’re working with a pretty sparse amount.
  7. Dip a rice paper wrap in the hot water and let it sit for about five seconds, then flip it and let it sit for another couple of seconds. Make sure that it’s wet all over, but don’t worry about how soft it is. It takes a minute or so for them to get soft.
  8. Place a mound (1/16th of the cooked batch) of noodles on the wrapper, about an inch and a half away from the edge closest to you, then sprinkle with chives.
  9. Top the noodles and chives with a single, even layer of matchstick carrots, then two snow peas.
  10. Roll the wrapper end facing you over the filling, then add a strip of tofu. Turn the sides in and roll once more.
  11. Add a couple of basil and mint leaves and roll until there is no more rolling to do.
  12. Repeat for the remaining 15 rolls.
  13. Brush each roll with a little oil and place on/in your serving/storing container. This will keep them from sticking to each other (to an extent – they’ll still be a little sticky, but not as sticky as they could be) and from drying out between finish and serving time.
  14. Enjoy on their own or with some peanutty dipping sauce!



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