Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Departure from Paper....

Mona, this is for you!  I couldn't get the pictures lined up with the text the way I wanted to in an email, so I made a blog post!  It's my blog, I do what I want!  Here is a wonderful, healthy, and easy recipe for  rice paper egg rolls.  Perfect for summer because they are served cold.

First, drain the water from the tofu (use the whole block) and cut it into smallish cubes.  Heat a large skillet on medium high heat, then add some olive oil (or canola, or whatever you use). Don't stir the cubes, just let them sizzle in the oil at first.
They will start to brown in the oil.  Don't stir them, they are still too delicate and will break up.  Only when they start to get a little brown, you can shake the pan back and forth to roll them around.
I don't recommend stirring them.  Just shake back and forth and if you're feeling cheeky, try a little flip or two.  The whole browning process takes 15-20 minutes and makes these satisfying little popping noises the entire time.  Fun!  When they are browned and firmed up on all sides, add a few shots of soy sauce (or tamari--it's almost the same).  You can see the soy sauce bubbling up here:
Let the soy sauce cook into the cubes a bit--it will caramelize on the outside and make a little delicious crust.  Your cubes will look like this:
At this point, you can remove them from the pan and set them aside (they are awesome chef's snacks!).  Keep the pan on med high heat, add a bit more oil, then add a bag of coleslaw mix.  You can add any veg you like in addition to the cabbage, some suggestions are: thinly sliced red peppers, green onions, bok choy, bean sprouts, cilantro, carrots, etc.
The seasoning to add at this point is Chinese Five Spice Powder..about 2 TBSP.  This sounds exotic, but every grocery store has it.  I'm sure Tom Thumb has it.  It gives them that characteristic egg roll taste.  Stir the veggies around until they are crisp-tender and only slightly soft.  You don't want them a mush because you are eating them cold and want to retain that "fresh" feel. When you reach the right doneness, add a glug or two of soy sauce and put the tofu back in.  Then remove it from the heat.  Next part is the wrapping!
These are the rice paper wrappers I use.  You can get them at Whole Foods.  Don't know their Kosher status, but it's just rice.  They are cheap. (You can also put the above mixture over rice or quinoa or whatever and it's delicious!)  To soften them, just dip one in warm water for a few seconds, then place it on the cutting board.  It will continue to soften.  Place a little filling on the bottom third of the wrapper like this:
Fold over the sides, they will stick to each other.
Then roll it up from the bottom, kind of tightly, but don't rip the wrapper.
Then, you're done!  This is what I made last Shabbat---very little cooking and very easy.  Just chill in the fridge or eat right away.  Dipping sauce is good--sweet chili sauce, duck sauce, sweet n sour, etc.
Have fun!  Enjoy!  Lovings!

Cindy "ScrappyV" from the kitchen, not the scraproom today!


  1. YUM!! I made these kinds of rolls quite often, but I have never attempted vegetarian ones (OK, maybe once?). Thanks for inspiring me to try this, Cindy! Hope you are having a great summer!

  2. Forgot to add that...I often add chopped peanuts, fresh herb (mint, cilantro or basil) in the rolls for extra flavor and crunch.