Seattle has been getting a few sunny days here and there, and even though they've been cold sunny days, they've got me daydreaming about summer anyway. When summer does come, and when we get one of those sticky, drowsy days where cooking sounds unbearable, this is the recipe I'm going to turn to.
I love fresh spring rolls because they're refreshing, healthy, and pretty easy to make. Oh, and don't forget the peanut dipping sauce. Fresh spring rolls love dipping sauce, and they are very sad to be eaten without it.
Fresh Tofu Spring Rolls*
rice paper wrappers (some info on these here)
extra firm tofu
vermicelli noodles (see photo above for the kind I have)
thai basil and/or mint
1. Soften the vermicelli noodles by placing them in a small bowl and pouring hot water over the noodles. Try a noodle after about 5 minutes; once they're soft, drain over the sink.
2. Slice the tofu and vegetables into thin strips. Remove basil and mint leaves from stems. Set fillings aside.
3. Fill a large, shallow dish with hot water. Dunk a rice paper wrapper into the hot water, pressing down if it starts to float up. It won't take very long for the wrapper to soften, and the hotter the water, the faster it goes. (Don't stack the softened wrappers; they'll stick together. I make these spring rolls one at a time.)
4. Lay a wrapper onto a plate and dab off any excess water with a paper towel. Start adding your fillings on the lower third of the wrapper. Don't overfill, or the wrapper will tear.
5. Start rolling the wrapper, holding in the fillings with your hand if needed. About half-way up, fold in the left and right sides of the wrapper, then finish rolling. The wrapper should be sticky enough to "self-seal".
6. Slice your roll in half and enjoy with the peanut dipping sauce.
Peanut Dipping Sauce
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp chili garlic sauce (I have this little bottle)
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
Mix all of the dipping sauce ingredients except for the chopped peanuts. Once the peanut butter has fully mixed into the rest of the sauce, add the chopped peanuts and stir again.
*I'm not including specific amounts for each ingredient because it can really vary based on how big the veggies are, what your ratio preferences are, and how tightly you pack the rolls. But for reference, I made about 5 spring rolls with the amounts shown in the video (with 1/4 pack tofu and 1.5 ounces of dry vermicelli noodles).