Wednesday, February 5, 2014

sweet & sour tofu spring rolls

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I absolutely love spring rolls; to think a couple years back I was intimidated to try my hand at making a basic spring roll. Don't let the paper thin wrappers scare you off, they are quit forgiving. Plus the more you make them the easier they are to roll, all you have to do is get your own rolling technique down. The beauty of a spring roll ; the endless filling possibilities. Check out this version & this one - both are incredibly easy to make and please most crowds. You really can't go wrong with fresh veggies, some sort of protein such as quinoa or tofu; crispy mushrooms or avocado are also insanely good!

I'd say Justin and I make spring rolls at least a few times each month, they are my go to dinner when I have no clue what to make. We also love Gardiens chicken teriyaki strips in place of the tofu - super easy and good. Shredded Carrots are a must along with some sort of green- we always have either pea shoots, alfalfa sprouts or micro greens on hand. Speaking of micro greens, I totally scored a sweet little bag of micro greens and sunflower sprouts at last weeks farmers market- I was super pumped to say the least!
So, making this sweet and sour sauce is totally optional- to cut down on time feel free to use your favorite vegan store bought version. Vegan Duck /Plum Sauce would also be a great substitute. The one I made at home was fairly straight forward; canned apricots, ginger, apple cider vinegar, honey or maple syrup, tomato paste & soy sauce. The mixture is combined in a food processor or blender then reduced down on the stove top until thickened and reduced. The whole process from start to finish took me about 15 minutes.
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Once the sweet and sour sauce is reduced, half the mixture is used to coat the tofu sticks and the other half is set aside as a dipping sauce for the finished rolls. Not only are spring rolls quick and easy to make, they are really inexpensive. I always have a pack of spring roll wrappers in the pantry ready to go; they are great to make ahead and serve to company too!
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Can we just stop here for a minute, are these not the prettiest spring rolls ever?! 
Whenever I serve these up for lunch or dinner I instantly feel lighter; I love being back on the healthy train after months of Holiday indulgences.

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Are you a fan of making spring rolls at home; what are your favorite spring roll fillings?
Not sure how to roll a spring roll? Check out this step by step demo with pictures!
Sweet & Sour Tofu Spring Rolls
makes 10 Spring Rolls

you will need:

for the spring rolls 
7oz of extra firm tofu cut into matchsticks (about 20 matchsticks)
2 cups or so micro greens
1 cup shredded Purple cabbage
1 large Carrot peeled into ribbons
10 spring roll papers/ rice paper

for the sweet & sour sauce
10 Apricots halves from a can with a 1/4 cup of the juice saved
1" knob of Ginger - peeled
1/4 cup Apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1 tsp tomato paste
1/4 cup tamari (soy sauce)

 Sauce inspired by Stupid Easy Paleo


To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a sauce pot and cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until thickened.

Toss tofu sticks with half the sweet & sour sauce and set the other half of the sauce aside for dipping later. In a fry pan coated with olive oil of coconut oil, pan fry the tofu until warm and gooey.

Prep your veggies and get your rolling station ready. I like to use a rimmed baking sheet filled with hot water to soften my rice paper sheets. I use a standard dinner plate to transfer the spring roll paper onto to fill and roll. Working with one spring roll wrapper at a time, soften in the warm water, transfer to a plate - place a little bunch of micro greens, a few ribbons of carrot & pieces of red cabbage and top with sweet & sour tofu a little under the center of the wrapper - bring each side if the wrapper to the center and fold over the bottom up and over part of the filling and begin to roll up towards the top of the plate. This may take a little practice but you will get the hang of it!

Transfer rolled spring roll to a serving plate- they do get a little sticky so I would not recommend stacking them. Repeat the outlined process until all spring rolls have been rolled.

Enjoy with the leftover sweet & sour sauce!

Spring Rolls can be made up to a day in advance.




  1. Ooh, yes! Fresh rice paper rolls are some of the best snacks (or dinners, why not?) out there. I love the idea of adding apricots!

    1. I LOVE spring rolls - I make them so often that they take no time at all to throw together!

  2. Making spring rolls at home is the best! I love the look of that sauce - definitely trying this!

  3. oh my goodness. the spring rolls look so fabulous!
    i just find them a little bit more work than the payoff coz i eat them up so quickly;) now if only i could train hubbs to make some!

    1. Thanks Richa! You should definitely train Hubs to be a master spring roll maker :)

  4. I love these spring rolls, they look so gourmet :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. These look wonderful! I've played around with egg rolls (and other rando foods in that form), but I tend to go with the crispy wraps so I can grill them. Question: You mention buying vegan duck sauce, and since you live in NH I assume you're referring to REAL duck sauce, not the type I'm able to buy out here in the West... So, my question is do you have a brand that actually tastes like duck sauce is supposed to taste in New England? (please say yes!)

    1. Oh gosh I had a terrible experience with trying to deep fry spring rolls, lets just say it wasn't pretty! So, the Duck Sauce that Justin and I have in our Fridge is Ah-So Chinese Style Duck Sauce....curious what they consider duck sauce out west :) I still prefer the duck sauce in the restaurant but this gets us by!

  6. These look gorgeous! Jason and I enjoy making spring rolls, but as Richa said, it always seems to be a lot of work for how fast they go. Also ours never look so beautiful and colorful.

    1. Thanks Sarah! I have gotten my system down pretty good that I can whip up about 6 spring rolls in about 10 minutes so not that bad! :)

  7. I have been meaning to buy rice paper for aaaages- I am so craving a good spring roll! I think you posting this recipe is a sign that I need to get on this ;)

    1. This time of year spring rolls transport me to spring/summer which I am beginning to be impatient on waiting for!

  8. I was scared to make fresh rolls at first but it's definitely something that's easy once you've had a bit of practice! I just know to expect that my first one is going to look awful haha...I haven't tried making a version with tofu as a filling, but these sound delicious!

    1. You are totally right, it is not nearly as scary as most think- rice papers are pretty forgiving!


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