1/2 cup each julienned carrots, red pepper, and cucumber
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh mint
4 ounces vermicelli or rice noodles (the thinner the better)
8-10 spring roll rice papers
ALMOND BUTTER DIPPING SAUCE
1/3 cup salted creamy almond butter
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (tamari if gluten-free)
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar, agave, or honey if not vegan (depending on preferred sweetness)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
Hot water to thin
8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and thoroughly dried/pressed
4 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 1/2 Tbsp almond butter dipping sauce
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar or agave nectar
1.Start by preparing rice noodles in boiling hot water for about 10 minutes (read instructions on package), then drain and set aside.
2.Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and cut pressed tofu into small rectangles. Toss in 3 Tbsp cornstarch and flash fry in ~3 Tbsp sesame oil, flipping on all sides to ensure even browning about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
3.Prep veggies and prepare almond butter sauce by adding all sauce ingredients except water to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add enough hot water to thin until a pourable sauce is achieved. Adjust flavors as needed (I often add a little more chili garlic sauce and brown sugar).
4.To add more flavor to the tofu, transfer ~2.5 Tbsp of the sauce to a small bowl and add an additional Tablespoon each of soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar (or agave) and whisk to combine.
5.Add tofu back to the skillet over medium heat and add sauce/glaze, stirring to coat. Cook for several minutes or until all of the sauce is absorbed and the tofu looks glazed, stirring frequently (see photos). Set aside with prepared veggies and vermicelli noodles.
6.To assemble spring rolls, pour very hot water into a shallow dish or skillet and immerse rice paper to soften for about 10-15 seconds.
7.Transfer to a damp cutting board or damp towel and gently spread out edges into a circle. It may take a little practice, so dont feel bad if your first few attempts are a fail!
8.To the bottom third of the wrapper add a small handful of vermicelli noodles and layer carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, fresh herbs and 2-3 pieces of tofu on top (see photo). Gently fold over once, tuck in edges, and continue rolling until seam is sealed.
9.Place seam-side down on a serving platter and cover with damp warm towel to keep fresh. Repeat until all fillings are used up about 8-10 spring rolls total.
10.Serve with almond butter sauce and sriracha or hot sauce of choice. I like to mix mine and go dip happy.
11.Leftovers store well individually wrapped in plastic wrap, though best when fresh.