Isn't rice amazing? It astounds me how this one grain can take on so many forms. Hearty brown rice, short grain sushi, sticky coconut rice, porridge, mochi... It's the like chameleon of grains. Lately I've been falling hard for rice paper. This bouncy, transparent film has a mild, almost non-existent flavor that allows fresh ingredients to sing. You can wrap up almost anything inside a spring roll, but what I like best inside them are fresh, raw, or pickled ingredients. This recipe combines them all, fresh crunchy veggies, aromatic cilantro, pickled carrots and radishes, and a slab of tasty, marinated tofu.
Lunch, you just got served.
This roll came together when I found Lemongrass Tofu and Banh Mi style pickles in my fridge. I chopped up a raw bell pepper and jalapeno, and added them to the pile of deliciousness. Rolling a spring roll is a lot like rolling a burrito. Pile the ingredients as neatly as you can in the lower third of the round wrapper. Fold the sides in, followed by the bottom, then roll it up. The only big difference between rolling a burrito and a spring roll is that the spring roll is far more delicate. Go easy on it, or it could split.
Want some more detailed tips on rolling up your spring rolls? Diane at White on Rice Couple has you covered. Check out her gorgeous photo tutorial here.
Lemongrass Tofu Spring Rolls with Vietnamese Pickles
Makes two spring rolls
- 2 dried spring roll wrappers
- 2 fat slices of Lemongrass Tofu (recipe here)
- one handful of banh mi style pickles (recipe here)
- a few sprigs of fresh cilantro
- 1/4 of a raw red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 small jalapeno, sliced (optional)
- soy sauce or tamari sauce(gluten-free), for dipping
- Place the spring roll wrappers in a dish of cold water. Allow them to sit for about two minutes. Remove one wrapper, and spread it out over a dry dish. Blot with paper towel or a napkin to remove any excess water.
- Place half of the filling ingredients in the lower third of the spring roll. Try to place them all horizontally. This will make rolling (and eating) easier.
- Fold the sides of the wrapper in, then fold the bottom up. Tuck the filling in as snugly as you can, being careful to handle everything gently so that the wrapper doesn't break. Roll the bottom up, over and over until you've made a little tiny burrito shape.
- The rolls can be eaten whole, or cut in half for a pretty presentation. I recommend having sauce on hand for dipping. Tamari, soy, and/or hot sauce are all good choices.