Lately I have been wanting to create a recipe for healthier spring rolls. When I was younger I used to love eating spring rolls, dipped in plenty of plum sauce, but these days I rarely eat them. I thought about making spring rolls that were baked, instead of deep fried, and when one of my classmates in culinary school was offering up a package of spring roll wrappers, I jumped on the chance. They sat in my freezer for about a month- until tonight, that is. I have been trying to stay away from soy products (besides fermented soy, like miso, and soy sauce) but I can’t stand wasting food, so I decided to use up a pack of organic tofu I had in the fridge. I actually marinaded the tofu for about a day and I really liked how much flavour it took on. I could use a little practice on my spring roll wrapping technique, but this finished product was delicious. Instead of plum sauce, I made an almond butter sauce and it was wonderful paired with the rolls.

Baked Spring Rolls with Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

Tofu:

  • 1 package extra firm organic tofu cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 4 drops of stevia (or, of course a sprinkle of sugar or honey)

Combine all the ingredients in a shallow dish and let marinade for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, bake for 12 minutes.

Spring Rolls:

  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 can water chestnuts, diced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp each- minced garlic, ginger, lemon grass (I used a bottled paste of each of these, otherwise, sauté these together until garlic is cooked), sesame oil
  • baked tofu, cut into thin strips
  • 8 x 8 spring roll wrappers
  • sesame oil, for brushing

Combine carrot, pepper, water chestnuts, scallions in a bowl with chili flakes, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and sesame oil. Take a spring roll wrapper in front of you so it looks like a diamond. Take a few strips of tofu, carrots, peppers, water chestnuts, and scallions, and place on the bottom end of the wrapper. Roll the bottom over the filling, tuck the sides of the wrapper in, and roll like a cigar. Place on a lined sheet pan, seam side down and brush with sesame oil. Repeat until all filling has been used (just eyeball the amounts!). Preheat the oven to 400 F and cook spring rolls for 8 minutes. Flip over, brush with oil and cook for 5 more minutes.

Almond Butter Dipping Sauce (Adapted from Rebar):

  • 1/4 cup smooth almond butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sambal oelek
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Blend all ingredients in food processor, or by hand, with a whisk.

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