Hold on to your hats, folks, these fresh tofu salad rolls are good. They have cucumber, carrots, fresh kale, tofu, and all with this amazing salty, tangy, garlic-ginger-y dipping sauce. I don’t think I’ll ever have to order fresh rolls again.
But, first, an explanation. When the mercury soars, as it has been doing here in Southern Ontario lately (I always marvel that I live in a place where there is literally a 60+ degree differential between summer and winter), a few things happen to me. One: I get a little bit cranky sometimes. Two: I want more fresh, raw foods. Three: I have reduced patience for cooking (see number one). And Four: I want suppers that are cool, quick, and easy. That last rule actually applies to basically all of my food preferences in summer, which is why smoothies are often up to bat at mealtime.
I have had mediocre experiences with fresh rolls in the past. I bought some rice wrappers from my local grocery store and they smelled and tasted like old cheese, which was not the flavour I was going for. It took about a year for me to recover from that traumatic roll experience and to mentally prepare to take the risk again. Admittedly it isn’t all that big a risk, since a package of rice wrappers costs about $3.50.
The point is, take the plunge with me and you won’t regret it. These rolls are tasty and SO FAST. I ate them all last week for supper, and this week, I’m making them again! Spend 30 minutes one evening chopping up your tofu, carrots, and cucumber (all to slim matchstick size) and whisk together the dipping sauce, and all you have to do the other evenings is soften the rice wrappers and then roll them up with the veggies. Under 5 minutes, I’d say. And then you have a delicious meal packed with raw seasonal veggies. I mean, come on now! It’s magnificent!
I used carrots, cucumber, and baby kale because that’s what I found at the market, but you could use any kind of lettuce, vermicelli noodles, avocado, or maybe zucchini if you were feeling wild (or had a ton of them in your garden). The sky is the limit. Mix raw veggies with tofu and you have an amazing vegan, gluten-free meal that is ready with the snap of your fingers.
Fresh Tofu Salad Rolls with Garlic-Ginger Dipping Sauce
- Author: Emily Joldersma, R.H.N.
- Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free (note: only if using a wheat-free soy sauce), naturally-sweetened, quick and easy
Ingredients for the Rolls:
- one package firm tofu
- one cucumber
- one bunch carrots
- 1 to 2 cups baby kale (or any kind of leafy green)
- optional: cooked rice or vermicelli noodles, zucchini, avocado
- one package rice paper wrappers (*see note below)
- 1/4 cup tamari or organic shoyu (soy sauce), light sodium
- 2 tsps sesame oil
- 2 tbsps maple syrup
- 1 tbsp almond butter (or try cashew or peanut butter)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- juice of 1/2 lime
- generous sprinkle smoked paprika
- Whisk together sauce ingredients in a glass bowl that comes with a fitted lid (or any kind of glass storage container). Store sauce in fridge when not dipping.
- Slice tofu into slim matchsticks. To marinate for a bit of extra flavour, toss with 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. This is optional, though, as the dipping sauce contributes plenty of flavour.
- Slice cucumber into thin matchsticks.
- Peel and slice carrots into thin matchsticks.
- Pour water into a large pie plate (about 1/2 inch deep) and soak one rice wrapper (or follow instructions on package). When almost soft, remove from water, place on plate, and roll-up with veggies.
- Dip and repeat.
*Note: rice paper or rice wrappers (or rice paper wrappers) are basically round sheets of ‘paper’ that are made of (typically) rice, tapioca starch, water, and salt. They look kind of stiff and plastic-y in the package, but soften quickly in water (usually in less than 30 seconds). Once softened, they become chewy and malleable, and, obviously, fabulous for holding chopped vegetables. You can buy them at the grocery store, usually in the Asian or International Foods section, at an Asian market, or in a regular foods market at a Thai store or booth. The package that I bought had at least 50, if not more, and cost $3.25, so the return on the investment is pretty decent.
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