Food

Vietnamese Spring Rolls

This year, I gave up flour for Lent.  That means goodbye cookies, cakes, bread, and pasta.  Hello rice and potatoes!  I’m surprised by how many delicious dishes I am able to eat without breaking Lent.  One of my favorites –  Vietnamese spring rolls.  I always order these when I go out to a Vietnamese restaurant.  Spring rolls, unliked their fried cousins, are light yet filling, filled with veggies, and is incredibly flavorful.

Spring rolls typically have mint leaves in the rolls.  However, I’m not huge fan of eating mint leaves, so I opt to leave that out.  What I love about this recipe is that you can be super creative with this.  You can put whatever veggies you want in them.  Just make sure they are chopped up in similar size.  This recipe will yield about 12 spring rolls, enough to serve 6 people (or 4 very hungry people).

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Servings: 4-6

Ingredients
Spring Rolls
– 4 cucumbers, cut into matchsticks
– 8 lettuce leaves, thinly sliced
– 1 bunch fresh cilantro
– 4oz rice noodles
– 8-10 spring roll wrappers

Crispy Tofu
– 1 package extra firm tofu (~12-14 oz), drained and pat dry
– 3 tbs cornstarch
– 3 tbs vegetable oil
– 2 tbs peanut butter sauce (recipe below)
– 1 tb soy sauce (use GF if desired)
– 1 tb brown sugar
Peanut Butter Dipping Sauce
– 1/3 cup peanut butter
– 1 tb soy sauce (use GF if desired)
– 2 tbs honey (use agave for vegan)
– 1 tb lemon juice
– 1 tsp chili bean paste (optional)
– 1/4 cup hot water
Method
1. Cook rice noodles according to package instuctions.  Drain and set aside.
2. Combine all the ingredients of the peanut butter dipping sauce.  Slowly add the hot water to thin this out.  You might not need all 1/4 cup.  The consistency should be easy-to-pour but still a little viscous.
3. Cut the tofu into thin slices.  Coat with cornstarch.  In a skillet over medium heat, pan fry the tofu in vegetable oil.  Cook each side until golden brown.  Take 2 tbs of the pre-mixed peanut butter dipping sauce and mix with an additional 1 tb soy sauce and 1 tb brown sugar.  Pour this over the tofu and cook until all the sauce is absorbed.
4. Prepare a shallow plate with hot water.  Soften the spring roll wrapper in the hot water (5-10 seconds).
5. On a dry plate, place one sheet of spring roll wrapper.  Place cucumbers, cilantro, lettuce, rice noodles, and tofu on the bottom of the wrapper.  Wrapping like a burrito, fold in the sides, then roll up.  Serve with dipping sauce.
Adapted from Minimalist Baker
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