A few years ago, I posted Seared Tofu Banh Mi sandwiches on the blog, and to this day they are one of our most popular recipes. I love a good Banh Mi, so I’m not at all surprised. This recipe is a version of that – sans the bread. Not that I feel there’s anything wrong with a good toasty baguette here and there, but in an effort to lighten things up, I present spring rolls. Or should they be called summer rolls? Either way, let’s get on with our banh-mi-like filling.
There are a few steps involved in this recipe, but up until the rolling, everything can be made in advance. The recipe starts by making banh mi pickles. After you make them, they can be stored in the fridge for at least a month, so you’ll be prepared next time a banh mi craving hits.
Next, marinate the tofu in a garlic-tamari-lime-lemongrass mixture. This post is the last in the series of our partnership with method (see post’s 1, 2, and 3). The inspiration behind this post came when method asked me to come up with a lemongrass recipe inspired by their lemongrass scented kitchen wash. I think this is my favorite of them all because I just love lemongrass. Love & Lemongrass will be our next blog’s name.
Here’s a step by step of how I tuck and roll!
- 1 daikon radish, sliced into matchsticks
- 2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks
- ½ medium cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- pinch of cane sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 stalk of lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- 10 ounces extra-firm tofu
- 4 ounces cooked vermicelli noodles
- 8 (8½-inch) spring roll rice paper circles
- generous handful of herbs (mint, basil and/or cilantro)
- sea salt
- ¼ cup mayo or vegan mayo
- ½ teaspoon sriracha, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Make the pickled veggies. Place the radish, carrot, cucumber and jalapeno slices into a medium-sized jar. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice and white wine vinegars, sugar and the salt and pour the mixture into the jar with the vegetables. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
- Make the lemongrass tofu marinade. Prepare the lemongrass by cutting off the root end and the tough upper stem of the stalk. Remove the thick outer part and then use the back of a chef's knife to bash the lemongrass. This helps release its flavor. Finely chop the inner layers, the tender white and light green part only (this should yield about 1½ tablespoons of minced lemongrass).
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemongrass, olive oil, tamari, lime juice, garlic and maple syrup.
- Cut the tofu into 8 4-inch long thick strips, and place in a rimmed baking dish. Pour ¾ of the marinade over the tofu and use your hands to flip the tofu in the dish until well coated. Chill for 30 minutes. (Reserve the remaining ¼ marinade to brush onto the tofu after it bakes.)
- Make the sriracha mayo dipping sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sriracha and lime juice. Season to taste and chill until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the tofu from the marinade and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and firm around the edges, flipping halfway through. Remove the tofu from the oven and brush with the remaining marinade and a pinch of salt.
- Assemble the spring rolls: Fill a shallow glass baking dish with 1 inch of warm water. Submerge one rice paper in the warm water for 15 seconds and then lay the softened wrapper on a clean kitchen towel. Place a portion of vermicelli noodles, a piece of tofu and some of the pickled veggies on the rice paper and top with some herbs. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and gently tuck the filling under the wrapper. Fold the sides over the filling. Then continue rolling and tucking the rice paper to form a spring roll. Repeat with the remaining rice papers.
- Serve with the sriracha mayo dipping sauce and tamari on the side.