Curried Tofu Spring Rolls with Curried Peanut Sauce

Posted on by on September 18th, 2011 | 44 Comments »

I have never made spring rolls and have recently figured out why. While I love myself a good spring roll and order them in Vietnamese and Thai restaurants whenever I dine, I learned this week that I totally suck at rolling those delicate little translucent rolls of deliciousness. That thin rice paper when soaked in water becomes my arch enemy and I fail. Miserably. Maybe I did something wrong or perhaps it’s because I just don’t have the spring roll rolling skill in me, but those damn ends just wont fold in, my filling falls out and well, the saga ends in a bit of a hissy fit with me stamping my feet on the kitchen floor as if I were 6 years old and my mom wouldn’t let me help cut stuff up with a sharp knife.

I was so excited when I bought that little package of rice paper. It sat in my pantry waiting to be soaked in water and stuffed with goodness. I had big ideas, big dreams. First attempt, fail. I went online and found tutorial upon tutorial on how to roll a spring roll properly. Eh doesn’t seem too hard. Second attempt, fail. Another tutorial, another failed attempt. When I finally got one right I wasn’t even excited, I just knew what the phrase ‘dumb luck’ meant. I’m going to go and say that it’s not my fault that I couldn’t get these right. It’s Be’er Sheva. Yeah, thats right I’m blaming it on Be’er Sheva, cause thats what we do here when things go wrong in the kitchen. We blame the ovens that don’t cook things normally or the unbelievable heat that makes food react differently then normal, and now I’ll just add failed spring roll rolling to the mix. Sigh.

Regardless of my poor attempt at spring roll rolling, these were actually pretty amazing. And, the dipping sauce! Who doesnt love a good dipping sauce? My husband and I ate them all in a matter of minutes and before he could even swallow the last bite, my husband requested I make them again. Marinating the tofu allows it to soak up all the amazing flavors and pan frying it gives it an amazing texture. So, if you are good at rolling spring rolls or have a bit of trouble like myself, make these anyway. They are perfect for a light dinner, snack, lunch or appetizer.

Ingredients

For Spring Rolls

1 package of firm tofu
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/4 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
basil
cabbage, shredded
carrots, sliced into thin matchsticks
bean sprouts
rice paper

For Dipping Sauce 

1/2 cup peanut oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ginger
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions

For Spring Rolls

In a mixing bowl combine vegetable oil, curry powder, cumin, ginger, garlic soy sauce and salt and pepper. set aside.
Cut tofu into long strips (about 1/4 inch long) and add to the vegetable oil mixture.
Marinate covered in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
When tofu is done marinating heat a large skillet over medium heat.
Add tofu slices and fry until crispy, turning once.
Let tofu cool completely.
Fill a bowl with warm water and quickly dip rice paper into the water for 5 seconds.
Place rice paper on a work surface and fill with some of the basil, shredded cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts and tofu.
Roll spring rolls and serve with dipping sauce.

For Dipping Sauce

In  a bowl combine all ingredients for dipping sauce and mix until well combined and creamy.
Serve with spring rolls.

 

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44 Comments

  1. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    Yum!! I can’t wait to try this marinade for tofu. I also suck at spring rolls so will probably try this on a salad or with rice noodles as discussed 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Katherine, you will love this marinade!! Definitely salad next time.

  2. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    Whoever doesn’t love a good dipping sauce is CRAZY! 😀 This sauce looks amazing and by the way, I think your spring rolls are beautiful! They almost look like stained glass! Lovely dish!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thanks Tiffany! Spring rolls look like stained glass, dont they?!

  3. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    I have never made spring rolls but they are on “my list”. I would love to try these too (if I could talk my husband into eating tofu!) He’s ok with eating vegetarian meals but not quite so hot on tofu. I love this sauce too, it sounds perfect with so many flavors that I love!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thanks Cassie! Maybe your husband will like eating these!! The marinade makes them so so tasty and pan frying it gives it a nice texture!

  4. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    You know what a really good trick is? To simply not bother tucking in the ends. When I roll springrolls, I soak the paper very briefly, fold the circle in two and then place the filling one. Roll them up and ready to go! Yes, there will be stuff sticking out but I like it that way and it’s easier too! I got this from Steamy Kitchen Cookbook… Maybe that’s the answer for your rolling problem too! Worked for me!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thanks Simone! I think Im going to do that next time!! Not sure why I didn’t think of it myself!

  5. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    Wow! This sounds and looks amazing! I cannot wait to try and make these. The dipping sauce sounds delicious!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thanks Courtney! The dipping sauce is amazing!! We were licking the bowl haha

  6. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    I’d never have guessed you had trouble with the rice paper while making these rolls, because they look utterly beautiful (and delicious, too) The dipping sauce sounds like a perfect accompaniment… I love me a good, spicy peanut sauce!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thanks Isabelle! I only photographed the ones that came out pretty and from a good angle hahah but trust be there was a whole plate of rejects!!!

  7. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    They look pretty good to me! I can tell you (I’ve rolled thousands of Lumpia) the more you do it – the better you’ll get! Pretty soon, you’ll have perfectly shaped, tight rolls to admire….cuz they already taste delicious!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Yeah I will have to keep practicing. Maybe next time will be better!

  8. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    Oh, these are beautiful!!! I’d love a to sample a few 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thanks so much Liz!

  9. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    These are so beautiful and delicious looking !!!!
    The dipping sauce sounds amazing…

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-18-2011

      Thanks Reem!! The sauce is soooo good!!!

  10. Mom
    Posted on: 9-18-2011

    They look perfect to me! And delicious…can’t wait to make them!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-19-2011

      Thanks Mom 🙂 I think you will really like them.

  11. Posted on: 9-18-2011

    Those look great. I can imagine it WAS frustrating trying to do it though. I feel like I’ve been seeing this dish a lot lately and have been a little intimidated to try it. Yours do look delicious and…healthy, which is always good. Crossing my fingers I have SOME dumb luck as well on the rice paper! Thanks for stopping by to check out my pumpkin cupcakes! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-19-2011

      Thanks Ericka!! Maybe you will have better luck then I did! You can leave the ends open as suggested by Simone. I may try that next time!! Happy to have found your blog (and your pumpkin cupcakes!)

  12. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    Yummy! These spring rolls sound and look so tasty!! Especially that curry peanut sauce!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-19-2011

      Thanks Stephanie! The peanut sauce is amazzzzzing!!

  13. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    delicious looking combination Beth this looks wonderful
    regards Akheela
    torviewtoronto and createwithmom

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-19-2011

      Thank you so much Akheela! The combination works wonderfully!

  14. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    These look perfect to me Beth! I have never made them at home… they actually scare me! LOL
    The dipping sauce sounds fantastic!!! I would happily eat a few for dinner tonight!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-19-2011

      Thanks Manu! They always scared me too and now I know why!! But, I wont give up, I will try again! You should try too, even if they dont come out pretty they really are delicious which is what matters most!

  15. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    I thought the same thing when I made spring rolls, but everyone seemed to like them anyway. Yours look great and I want to make this dipping sauce! I love the recipe!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-20-2011

      Thanks Lyndsey! All that matters is that everyone is happy and they taste yummy!

  16. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    Looks delicious Beth! Your spring rolls look really great and not bad like how you described. I like the filling and sauce you made and I’m keeping this recipe to try soon. If I may, I have a quick tip for you. I usually use hot water (that’s how I learned from Vietnamese restaurant) and just circulate the paper in the bowl for 2-3 times (meaning only 1/4 of paper in water when you dip) and when you take it out, the shape is still hard. Leave it on the plate/cutting board for a few seconds and it’ll get soft naturally. And try not to put a lot of filling – it’s the easiest tip but I tend to forget myself too as I want to get it done quickly so I can eat, and I tend to stuff too much. Place the filling little bit below the center and tuck in tightly. It’s easier with less filling so you can tuck in tightly. 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-20-2011

      Thanks for tips Nami! I will have to try that and see if it works out better for me!! Not too sure when I will attempt it again… but when I do LOL

  17. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    First time here and this is is WOW! I love the translucent wrap and I love this healthy and delicious recipe!!!! So glad I stopped by !Cheers, Priya

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-20-2011

      Thank you Priya, I am glad you stopped by too and hope you visit more!!

  18. Posted on: 9-19-2011

    From what I see, you did a wonderful job on these spring rolls! My talents are lacking, so I have to get up the nerve to go through the trials with making these. Trial an error will eventually get me to the right place. One thing I do know is that they are tasty-even though not picture perfect. Great post!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-20-2011

      Thanks Tina! These are definitely all about trial and error for me!! You should give them a shot, maybe your luck will be better then mine!

  19. Posted on: 9-21-2011

    Those rolls are so pretty and the peanut sauce sounds amazing!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-22-2011

      Thanks Lauren! The sauce is the greatest!

  20. Posted on: 9-21-2011

    Sounds and looks delicious! I love peanut sauce and could just about anything into it.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-22-2011

      Thanks Fran! I think I could use this sauce on just about anything too! Its so good.

  21. Posted on: 9-22-2011

    Ok, I think that those look pretty darn good..Everything in them sound like it is packed with flavor..And curry peanut sauce, just one word,..YUM!!! Awesome photos

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 9-22-2011

      Thanks Sandra! They are super flavorful from the marinade and the sauce can definitely be summed up in one word..yum!!

  22. Posted on: 1-8-2012

    These look like a Thai dream – they are simply divine and for once I feel speechless in the presence of savoury
    They look delicious my friend

  23. Jorrie
    Posted on: 8-3-2012

    Perhaps it is your technique. Spring rolls are actually quite easy to roll once you get the hang of it. The trick is a large plate. Big enough to fit the whole sheet of rice paper. Set a bowl of REALLY warm water beside the plate so that you can transfer the sheet over to the plate right away. Ceramic plates are good or if the sheet sticks to the plate too much then you could use a plastic or wooden cutting board. You also don’t need to dip the rice paper for 5 seconds. The key is to dip it in fast, get it wet all over and then transfer to your surface ASAP. The faster the better, you don’t need to worry about the paper not being wet enough. If you have a few dry patches, dip your finger in water and lightly address the areas. You also don’t want to dunk the whole sheet in the water, just put about half of it in and roll/turn/spin I the water. From there it’s kind of the same concept as making sushi, but without the mat. It helps to pin the edge of your rice paper down amongst the filling as you roll so that you can get a tighter roll. You don’t want to saturate your rice paper so much that it becomes soggy and sticky and flimsy. I’m Vietnamese myself and spring rolls are a childhood comfort food, hence why I felt compelled to give you a few tips. 🙂 I didn’t read all the comments, so sorry if someone else gave you the same tip.

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