I love these vegetarian spring rolls even more than the meaty version with pork and shrimp. These refreshing rolls are a vegetarian’s delight with jicama, yams, carrots, tofu and bean thread noodle tossed in fragrant roasted rice powder. If you’ve never had roasted rice powder, this is a wonderful recipe for you to be introduced to this ingredient. It’s wonderfully aromatic and adds an interesting texture to foods.
This recipe makes a generous amount of spring rolls and is perfect for sharing. Make them as appetizers for your next party. Because of the rice paper, the rolls dry-out quickly so they are best if consumed within the day. Serve these tasty rolls with the Honey Soy Dipping Sauce.
Watch the video below for instructions.
1 head butterleaf lettuce
1 bunch cilantro
4-5 Persian cucumbers
12 oz extra firm tofu + 2 tsp vegetable oil
2 packages bean thread noodle (approximately 1.4 oz each)
1 medium jicama, 1 lb
1 large yam, 3/4 lb
2 cups shredded carrots
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1-3 oz package roasted rice powder
25-30 sheets rice paper
Trim and wash the lettuce, cilantro and cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers into thin strips. Chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the spring rolls.
To Make the Filling
Remove tofu from packaging. Blot the tofu with paper towels to remove any remaining water. Cut into thin slices, approximately 1/4-inch thick.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add vegetable oil and coat the skillet evenly. Cook tofu slices until lightly brown, approximately 5 minutes. Flip the tofu and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Cut tofu into thin strips and set aside for now.
Put the bean thread noodle into a salad spinner. Pour in hot water covering the noodles completely. Stir the noodles to break up the bundles. Allow the noodles to soak in the hot water for 8 minutes. Drain and rinse several times with cold water. Shake off the excess water. Spin the noodles in the salad spinner to remove more water. Using scissors, cut the noodles into shorter strands. Spread the noodles on a large plate and allow to air dry further.
Remove the skin from the jicama and cut into thin slices approximately 1/8-inch thick and then julienne. Repeat the same process for the yam. Try to keep the strips approximately the same size and thickness.
Heat a large wok over high heat and then add vegetable oil. Add minced garlic and stir fry for 5 seconds. Add the julienned jicama and yams and toss together. Add the water. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add the carrots, salt and black pepper. Stir fry for another 5-6 minutes. The vegetables should still have a crunch. Remove the wok from the stove and allow the vegetables to continue cooking in the wok. Let the vegetables gradually cool, approximately one hour.
Add the tofu and noodles to the stir-fried vegetables. Sprinkle the roasted rice powder and then mix everything together well.
To Make the Spring Roll
Dip a piece of rice paper into warm water making sure to wet the entire sheet. Gently shake off excess water and lay the rice paper on a cutting board. Wait 10-20 seconds for the rice paper to soften. (Time varies depending on the type of rice paper you use.)
Put a small amount of the filling on the rice paper. Place a piece of lettuce on top of the filling and then add a cucumber strip and cilantro sprigs. Carefully pull the lower edge of the rice paper up and over the filling. Tuck the filling under the folded rice paper and gently roll halfway. Fold the ends over and then finish rolling making sure all filling is tightly wrapped in the rice paper. When rolling use gentle pressure. Rolling with a firm hand will cause the rice paper to split.
Set the spring roll on a plate. Cover with a damp paper towel. Continue rolling until all ingredients are used.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or try the Honey Soy Dipping Sauce.
Yields: 25-30 rolls
Save some of the filling and toss with fresh greens to make a delicious and healthy salad. Yum!