Crispy Spring Rolls with Spicy Tofu, Vegetables, and Toasted Nuts BY YING CHANG COMPESTINE January 27, 2014 I love visiting Buddhist temples in Asia, not for religious reasons but because I enjoy the food served in their restaurants. This recipe was inspired by the fried vegetarian spring rolls I ate at the Shaolin Temple. While I enjoy crispy fried spring rolls, I dislike their high calorie count and the mess from deep-frying them. I found that by brushing a little olive oil on these rolls and broiling them in the oven, they came out just as crispy and delicious.
Makes 12 spring rolls
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger 2 garlic cloves, minced One 8-ounce package Thai- or teriyaki-flavored tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1 cup (about 3 ounces) finely chopped fresh oyster mushrooms 1/2 cup finely diced carrot 1/2 cup finely diced water chestnuts 2 tablespoons tamari sauce 3/4 cup toasted peanuts or walnuts , coarsely chopped, 1/4 cup reserved for garnish 2 green onions, minced 1 teaspoon sesame oil Twelve 8-inch round dried rice paper wrappers (see note) 1 head Boston or Bibb lettuce, leaves washed and separated Lime-Soy-Ginger Sauce , for serving
Step 1 Step 1. Heat a wok or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tofu and mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and water chestnuts and stir-fry until heated through, about 30 seconds.
Step 2 Step 2. Add the tamari sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the nuts, green onions, and sesame oil and toss to combine. Remove from the heat.
Step 3 Step 3. Fill a medium bowl with warm water. Dip one of the wrappers in the water for 15 seconds, or until softened. Carefully transfer to a dry work surface.
Step 4 Step 4. Arrange 2 to 3 tablespoons of the filling in an even horizontal mound just below the center of the wrapper. Roll up the rice paper to form a tight cylinder, folding in the sides about halfway. Assemble the remaining spring rolls in the same manner. Cover the finished rolls with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out.
Step 5 Step 5. Preheat the broiler. Lightly coat a large nonstick baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the spring rolls in a single layer on the baking sheet, leaving a little space between them. Lightly coat the rolls with cooking spray.
Step 6 Step 6. Broil the rolls until lightly browned and crisp, 10 to 13 minutes. Using tongs or a spatula, turn the rolls over and continue to broil for another 8 to 10 minutes.
Step 7 Step 7. Serve each roll wrapped in a lettuce leaf garnished with nuts, and accompanied by the Lime-Soy-Ginger Sauce.
Rice paper wrappers
These round or triangular translucent sheets made from rice flour are widely used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. To use, dip a wrapper in warm water for a few seconds; the delicate sheets become soft and pliable. Once the package is opened, store the wrappers in airtight plastic bags. If stored in a cool, dry place, they will last a couple of months. You can find them at most Asian markets and specialty stores.