Recipe: Thai Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Making Thai spring rolls is one of my favorite kitchen activities—it’s especially fun to wrap them with a group of friends when we want to get creative with our food. They look impressive but are surprisingly easy to make. The tofu needs to be marinated and baked, but the other ingredients require minimal prep time. They taste best eaten right away, but if you cover them with a damp paper towel and refrigerate, they can be stored for up to 24 hours. Served alongside our delicious peanut sauce, this is always a popular appetizer— as good as any spring rolls you will eat in a restaurant. —
Serves 6; makes 12 rolls
¼ cup/60 ml peanut butter, salted or unsalted, creamy or crunchy
¼ cup/60 ml very hot water (about 180°F/82°C)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp agave nectar
1 tsp fresh lime juice
⅛ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 oz/225 g extra-firm tofu, cut into twelve 3-by-½-in/7.5-cmby-
1 cup/170 g cooked rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
12 cucumber sticks, 3 by ¼ in/
7.5 cm by 6 mm
12 carrot sticks, 3 by ¼ in/7.5 cm by 6 mm
To make the peanut sauce: Stir together the peanut butter and hot water in a small bowl until smooth. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, agave, lime juice, salt, and a pinch of pepper and stir until thoroughly combined. Set aside at room temperature.
To make the tofu: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375°F/190°C/gas 5. Whisk together the soy sauce, oil, and pepper in a small bowl. Drain the tofu sticks on paper towels to remove excess water. Place the tofu on a small rimmed baking sheet or in a casserole dish and pour the marinade evenly over each piece. Make sure every side is thoroughly coated. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 10 to 15 minutes before baking.
Bake the tofu on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, flip each stick over, then bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
To make the spring rolls: Place the noodles, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, avocado, lettuce, mint, cilantro, and tofu on individual plates around your work surface. Fill a wide, shallow bowl with warm water. Place one spring roll wrapper in the bowl and let it soak until limp, about 5 seconds. Lay the wrapper down flat on your work surface. In the upper center section of the wrapper, place 1 piece of lettuce. You will want to leave at least 1 in/2.5 cm at the bottom of the wrapper uncovered; no need to leave any space at the top. In a compact vertical line, arrange 1 piece each of carrot, cucumber, tofu, and avocado, a generous 1 tbsp each of the bean sprouts and noodles, and 1 tsp each of the mint and cilantro.
Excerpted from Straight from the Earth: Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone.
Published by Chronicle Books. Copyright © 2014 by Myra Goodman. All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of Chronicle Books.