Fried Spring Rolls and Vegetable Cutlets were an all time favourite appetiser for all of us growing up. Every time we would go to a restaurant, it would be most definitely Vegetable Cutlets with a side of tomato ketchup. As more and more indo chinese restaurants opened up, Fried Spring Rolls would be the instant choice. More recently it has been steaming hot Vegetable Dumplings with a side of sweet spicy tomato dip. I have never actually tried a Fresh Spring Roll until recently and I must say there is no looking back. My husband`s profession takes him to various cities all over the United States where he gets to sample diverse cuisines and try out different dishes. On one such trip he brought back these from a tiny Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Dang, in Winooski Vermont. The spring rolls had rice sticks (vermicelli) cooked to perfection, on a bed of crisp lettuce, and long marinated and grilled tofu, mango all rolled in to one awesome roll. The dip was a peanut soy based served with a garnish of finely chopped peanuts. YUM! I have been playing it on my mind for quite some time now and after seeing many blog posts, and of course based on my own interpretation of the dish, sampled from the restaurants, I decided to make it at home for dinner and I must say it was very wholesome and delicious.
Ingredients for Tofu Marinade:
1 Pack Extra Firm Organic Tofu.
1/4 Cup Dark Soy Sauce.
1 Tsp Sugar.
1/2 Tsp Sriracha or Red Chilli Powder.
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder.
1/4 Tsp Salt.
Ingredients for Peanut Hoisin Dipping Sauce:
2 Tbsp Oil.
1 Tsp Minced Garlic.
1/3 – 1/2 Cup Water.
1 – 11/2 Tbsp Heaped Sugar.
4 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce.
4 Tbsp Creamy Peanut Butter.
2 Tsp Sriracha or Chilli Garlic Sauce.
Crushed Peanuts to garnish.
INGREDIENTS FOR FRESH SPRING ROLL:
10 Rice Paper Sheets.
1 Package of Rice Vermicelli.
10 large lettuce leaves.
Fresh Mango sliced in to thin long strips.
Fresh Cucumber peeled and sliced long.
Long Marinated Tofu slices. (Extra Firm Tofu)
20 – 25 Mint Leaves.
20 Stems of Cilantro.
- First remove the tofu from the cover and drain all the water. Pat dry and allow to rest on a piece of tissue paper.
- When completely dry, cut in to long, 1 inch wide strips.
- Whisk all the ingredients for the marinade until they all come together and transfer to a shallow dish.
- Place the tofu in the marinade and allow to sit for about 40 mins to 1 hour.
- Use a cast iron skillet or a grill or a tava, grease it a little and pan fry the tofu until its evenly cooked on all sides.
- Slice the mango in to long pieces.
- Cook the vermicelli / rice sticks as per instructions. Once done. drain and grease with a little oil. Place on a shallow bowl.
- Keep your assembly line ready – Rice Paper, Vermicelli, Lettuce Leaves, Grilled Tofu, Sliced Mango, Sliced Cucumber, torn mint leaves and roughly chopped cilantro.
- Take a large bowl filled with lukewarm water and keep ready.
- Take a clean dry flat plate. Dip the rice paper in to the water to moisten and place on the plate. It will soften as you assemble the filling.
- Place the lettuce on the rice paper base, add a little vermicelli over the lettuce, and arrange the mango, tofu, cilantro and mint over the vermicelli.
- Moisten your hands, and start rolling tightly, tucking in the sides and rolling up until you get a sealed spring roll.
- Arrange on a clean plate in a way that they don’t stick to each other.
- Serve with Peanut Hoisin Dipping Sauce.
PEANUT HOISIN DIPPING SAUCE:
- In a wok add about 2 tsp of oil and when its hot, add the grated/ minced garlic. When the garlic is sauteed well, add the water, sugar, hoisin sauce, creamy peanut butter ( I made my own from here), and Sriracha. Give it a couple quick whisks and remove from the stove.
- Add a little more water/ soy sauce to adjust the consistency depending on your preference.
- Garnish with finely chopped peanuts.
- Take care not to serve the fresh spring rolls too close to each other as they may stick to each other and tear.
- Any left over marinade sauce can be added to the dipping sauce for additional flavour.
- It`s best to be assembled right before serving as it retains its freshness and crunch.
- Do not refrigerate as the vermicelli and the rice paper would become chewy.