I was scrolling through the blog the other day, and realised that I have yet to post a savoury recipe. We have been crazy busy recently in the land of clouds, so the majority of our meals have been eaten on the fly, prepared in 10 minutes, or just been one of those 'tastes amazing but looks gross" kind of situations. I have a bunch of dinner/lunch/not cakes or baking recipes up my sleeve though that I can't wait to share!
I was always a non-fan of tofu, in fact I was a firm believer for a long time that it resembled compressed cotton wool. It was only until I had it cooked this way - marinaded and baked, that I was converted. By using extra firm tofu you avoid the weird squishy texture, and marinading makes everything better, including tofu! If cooked properly, tofu can be a great meat replacement, and tends to be fairly low cost. I have used a honey soy marinade but it is also amazing with a sesame ginger, chilli lime, or whatever you have on hand.
Summer rolls have been a lifesaver when it comes to making food when its hot. And MY GOODNESS has it been hot. You only have to endure 25 minutes of the oven on, which can totally be done the night before if you wanted to prep them for the next day. Everything else is fridge based. The other great thing about them (and something I have been doing more and more often when we have visitors) is that they are very build your own so all you have to do is dump all of the things in the middle of the table, and people can go for it filling their own!
I use the medium size spring roll/rice paper wraps for this. Generally I use the white rice ones, but on this particular occasion the supermarket only had brown rice ones. They definitely don't look as pretty, but they taste exactly the same!
Feel free to pop whatever fillings and vegetables you feel like on the inside! The one recommendation that I have however is don't skip the mint. It cuts through everything and gives you an amazing freshness. You could probably also use coriander/cilantro, but I am one of those people who thinks it tastes like soap, so I avoid it at all costs. To minimise mess I like to put the 'dipping' sauce on the inside of the roll. These already aren't the tidiest of things to eat, so eliminating a sauce helps with this too! If you would like to keep it as a sauce, add 1/4 of a cup of water to it to thin it out, otherwise spread it as a paste on the inside of the roll.
When it comes to soaking the roll, they only need to be dipped into the water for a few seconds. They will come out still fairly rigid, but by the time it comes to roll them they will be nice and soft! These are best eaten fairly fresh, so if you want to plan ahead, prep all the ingredients, and then assemble just before you eat.
This recipe is gluten free and vegetarian! If you would like it to be vegan, just swap out the honey for agave :)
You can see pictures on how to roll the rolls (haha) here! It takes a few tries to get used to it, but once you have done a couple, you will be off! Or, on a roll.
Tofu Summer rolls with Peanut Hoisin Dipping Sauce
-Makes about 12-
Honey Soy Tofu
1 block (400g) extra firm tofu
5 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons soy sauce
Hoisin peanut butter sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter (either crunchy or smooth is fine)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp Lime juice, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp Soy sauce
1/4 cup water (optional)
Rice paper rolls
Rice paper rolls/spring roll wrappers.
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 red pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 small head of romaine lettuce, shredded.
large handful of pea shoot sprouts
large handful of fresh mint.
Approx. 50g (2oz) vermicelli (mung bean noodles)
- PROCESS -
Remove tofu from its packaging. Drain liquid, and wrap the tofu in either a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Place between two plates, and place a heavy object such as a skillet or large can on top of the plate. Leave to drain for 30 minutes to an hour. Remove from the paper towel, and drain well. Cut into 12 planks. Place planks in a shallow baking dish, large enough to accommodate the tofu in one layer. Mix together the soy sauce and honey in a small bowl, and pour over the tofu, turning it to ensure it is evenly coated. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 450f/230c. Line a baking sheet with a silpat/silicone mat, or aluminium foil. Arrange the tofu on the baking tray in one layer, reserving the remaining marinade. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn each plank of tofu and bake for another 10 minutes. Baste with the remaining marinade, and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until starting to go dark and crispy around the outside. Remove from the oven and cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
PEANUT HOISIN DIPPING SAUCE
Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. If you are using it as a dipping sauce, add the water and mix well, or omit the water if you are going to put the sauce inside the roll.
Cook the vermicelli noodles according to directions on packet. Run under cold water to cool. Prepare and chop vegetables. Prepare a shallow dish with warm water for soaking the rice paper skins.
Soak a skin in the warm water for 5-7 seconds. Remove, shake the excess water off, and place on a damp dish towel or chopping board. Place a piece of tofu in the middle of the skin. Top with a small amount of the peanut hoisin sauce, and 2-3 mint leaves. Add a little of the other filling ingredients (try not to overfill too much).
Fold up one long edge of the roll. Fold both sides in, and roll the whole thing up. Repeat for remaining rolls.
Serve with additional dipping sauce. Best eaten fresh!