April 29, 2009

spring rolls

Happy Spring! Rolls! Green onions are in season! Cucumbers are not quite in season but the one we used came from a farmer's green house so that almost counts as in season... And of course, bean sprouts are always in season.

For this recipe, I tried to imitate my favorite spring roll ever from a Thai restaurant near my parent's house in Wisconsin. I will have to go back there sometime so I can perfect the flavors. I did manage to capture the main idea - a watery, sweet refreshment for the warming weather.

Serving Size: 10 spring rolls

Spring Roll Ingredients:
10 rice paper sheets
2 c. bean sprouts
1 c. green onions, diced
1 cucumber, sliced thin legthwise
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 lb. tofu, marinated in plum sauce

"Plum" Sauce Ingredients:
8 prunes, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. white wine
2 T. braggs amino liquids or soy sauce or tamari
1 T. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 T. honey
1/2 T. peanut oil
1/2 t. frozen minced ginger
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 c. braggs amino liquids or soy sauce or tamari
2 T. rice vinegar
1/2 t. garlic powder
a pinch of red pepper flakes

Cut your tofu into strips about 1/4" x 1/4" x 1". In a dry frying pan (no oil), cook your tofu strips on low-medium heat. Flip the tofu strips and cook until all sides are golden. Dry frying removes a lot of moisture from the tofu which helps it to better soak up your "plum" sauce marinade.

In a blender or food processor, add all of you "plum" sauce ingredients and blend until uniform. Put the "plum" sauce and cooked tofu strips in a plastic bag and let it marinated for a several hours in the refrigerator.

After the tofu strips have marinated and you have prepped the veggies, you can start assembling the spring rolls. Dip a sheet of rice paper in warm water for 5-10 seconds or whatever the packaging says. Lay the wet rice paper on a plate. Across the center spread a line of spouts, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots, diced green onions, and marinated tofu.

At the ends of the filling line, tuck in the sides of the rice paper. Pull one of the long sides of the rice paper over the filling line. Tightly tuck it under the filling line and roll. If I just totally confused you, check out this video on You Tube: "Viatnamese Spring Roll"

Now the only thing left is to mix together the dipping sauce ingredients and sprinkle your plate with green onions.

Side Note:
If you aren't serving a party or large family, you can store the ingredients separately and the prepare on demand or you can store pre-made rolls.


  1. YES YES YES. I am making these this weekend. I have the sprouts! Now I just need to get everything else.

    Oh yum!

  2. We finally had a chance to make these. So delicious! Your plum sauce is amazing, I plan to use it on a lot more than spring rolls. I'm envisioning some delicious stir-fries using that sauce.

    We didn't have any local cucumbers yet so we used some snow pea shoots from Tiny Greens Farm. So delicious and wonderfully crunchy!

    I had a lot of fun rolling the spring rolls and plan to try out some creative fillings for them, I'm thinking mango, mint, pinapple, etc.

  3. Those are some great ideas!