Spring Rolls with Tofu
spring roll wrappers
dried rice stick noodles
1 block of tofu, cut into strips
2 carrots, julienned (shredded if you want to save some time)
half an English cucumber, cut into sticks
Thai basil (optional)
nuoc mam for dipping
your oil of choice for frying (olive oil not recommended)
1. Set the tofu strips between paper towels.
2. Bring a pot of water to boil for the rice stick noodles.
3. Set a large, deep frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil. Fry the tofu strips in batches, flipping once, until they are golden brown on each side. Set the fried tofu on a plate with clean, dry paper towels.
4. Bring a teakettle of water to a boil. When it comes to a boil, take the kettle off the heat so the water can cool a bit.
5. Cook noodles according to package directions. Be sure not to overcook them, and rinse them in cold water as soon as they are finished cooking.
6. Pour the teakettle water into a large, shallow dish. Set the rice paper, cooked noodles, tofu, and vegetables nearby in an assembly line.
7. Rotate a piece of rice paper through the dish of water. If the water’s too hot or you leave the rice paper in it for too long, it’ll turn sticky and unmanageable. The key is to let the water cool slightly, and move the rice paper through it rapidly.
8. Set the rice paper on a clean work surface, such as a cutting board.
9. Add ingredients to one end of the rice paper. I like to place the lettuce first (didn’t use any on this night), followed by noodles, tofu (or meat), vegetables, and herbs.
10. Roll the rice paper as though it’s a burrito. Fold the sides in, pull the bottom corner up over the filling, then roll.