Rainbow Vegetables & Tofu Spring Rolls With Spicy & Citrusy Peanut Butter Sauce
Updated: Apr 1
Spring rolls are an Asian appetizer that can be deep fried or non-fried. These spring rolls are of the non-fried variety and can provide a refreshing boost of energy during a hot day. And although some might consider this an appetizer I serve it for dinner. They are full of colorful vegetables and I serve them with a sweet, spicy and citrusy peanut butter sauce. They are best served fresh although some sites say that they can be made a day ahead and stored with a damp cloth and tightly wrapped in a plastic wrap. In my experience, the rice paper toughens and if a vegetable of a more wet variety, like cucumber or avocado are touching the wrap, it will break it.
For this recipe I used brown rice spring roll wrappers, which is why these look darker than usual. I look for ingredients at the market that are colorful and would make a good addition to the roll by either adding a unique texture or flavor. If you don't find the same ingredients you can always omit the ingredient and/or substitute it for something else like bell pepper, dikon, rice noodles or what ever you think would taste good.
For the sauce, I just added a bunch of Asian ingredients into the blender and played around with the amounts until I got it just right. In all honesty, when I cook I rarely measure my ingredients so it usually turns out tasting slightly different, sometimes more spicy and sometimes more citrusy but it is always really good. Feel free to play around with the amounts on this recipe, maybe adding one less tablespoon of syrup for less sweetness, another half a lime/lemon, or more pepper flake depending on your taste buds.
Some tips I have:
- Use warm water to soften the wrapper more quickly - however this will make the wrapper more stretchy and a bit sticky
- Use cold water to soften the wrapper, this will take a few more seconds for the wrapper to soften but the wrapper will not be as sticky and it might be easier to handle.
- Place a leafy vegetable on the wrapper first, then add the wet vegetables to keep them from touching the wrapper too much and to prevent the wrapper from breaking.
- Create an assembly line, so that you don't forget to add any of your ingredients.
- Take your time to build them and don't over stuff them.
- Slice your veggies thin, thin, thin
- I like to chop the spinach so that no stems are long enough to poke through the wrapper.
With the amount of ingredients listed below you can roll about 24 spring rolls which is approximately the amount of wrappers that come in a pack.
Ingredients For Spring Rolls:
- 1 pack of spring roll wrappers
- 2 bundles of spinach
- 1.5 avocados
- 2 bundles of lemon basil
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 small red cabbage
- 5 small Persian cucumbers or 1 large cucumber
- 1 block of extra extra firm tofu
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Ingredients For The Dipping Sauce:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1-1.5 inch fresh ginger root
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice (about 1 fruit)
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flake
For the Sauce
1. Add all ingredients into the blender then place in a separate container in the refrigerator
For Spring Rolls
1. Thinly slice the tofu and pan fry it with some cooking oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place it in a container to cool while you slice the rest of the ingredients.
2. Slice the cucumber, carrot, avocado and cabbage and place it on a plate
3. I like to roughly chop the spinach so that no stems can poke through the wrapper
4. Remove the basil leafs from the stems and place them in a small container
5. Have a glass or metal container or cookie sheet ready to place all the finished spring rolls
6. Have a container ready with either warm or cold water, you'll need to dip each wrapper until it softens. Then lay it flat and fill it with a tiny bit of each ingredient making sure to place them all in the same directions across the center of the wrapper, leaving about 1.5 inches on each side. Fold the uncovered sides inward and tightly roll the wrapper, also folding the sides in. Repeat until you have the amount of spring rolls desired.
Enjoy with the peanut sauce