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Maple Hoisin Tofu Summer Rolls

makes 12-14 rolls depending on the size of your rice paper
Maple Hoisin Tofu Summer Rolls

Summer rolls are a solid travel food because they’re basically an herby noodle salad you can eat with your hands. No fork required. You can fold in whatever veggies you like but our go-to recipe is below. We cut everything the night before and roll it all up in the morning before we go. Simple. And sure, you’ll have little-to-no refrigeration, BUT this is vegan so it’s not like anything will spoil.

2 Persian cucumbers, cut into matchsticks or half a regular cucumber
1 large carrot, shaved into ribbons with a veggie peeler
1 cup cooked thin rice noodles
1 ½ cups thinly sliced lettuce like romaine
1 cup torn fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, mint, and green onions
1 package of rice paper wrappers*
1 block of extra firm tofu, drained
¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon hot sauce, like a chili garlic sauce or Sriracha, optional
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoons maple syrup

Wrap the tofu in a clean towel or some paper towels and set something heavy on top to wick away moisture like a heavy pan. Let it get squashed there for at least 15 minutes or up to 45. Whatever you’ve got time for but longer than 15 isn't necessarily better. Just don’t forget about that shit on the counter. 

While tofu is pressing, make the marinade. In a small glass, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and hot sauce together. When the tofu is ready, tear the tofu into bite-sized pieces not larger than a quarter. These jagged edges really help the marinade work in there and make for an extra delicious appearance. Trust us. Place the torn tofu in a bowl and pour over the marinade. Let this sit, mixing them around occasionally, for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours. That’s a good time to cut up your veggies.

Heat up a large skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of oil like peanut or another high heat oil. Drain off the marinade, reserving 2 tablespoons, and toss the tofu around in the pan until all the pieces have a little oil on them. The oil might splatter a bit since the tofu is juicy so watch the fuck out and turn down the heat if it’s gettin too wild in the pan. 

Cook the pieces on as many sides as possible until light golden brown. This should take about 5-7 minutes. You aren’t gonna get it all even, so don't even try. Some burned parts are fine too, a little texture never hurt anyone. Tofu that’s a little burned is delicious so you’re not fucking up if you burn it. When all the tofu is at least golden in several spots, mix the reserved marinade with toasted sesame oil, hoisin sauce, and maple syrup. Now drizzle this over the tofu. This should evaporate quickly leaving the tofu looking nice and glossy. Cook this for about another 2-3 minutes just to make sure there isn’t a ton of liquid in the pan. All done. Now turn off the heat.

Let the tofu cool for a bit, even overnight. When you’re really to start rolling, get all those chopped veggies, noodles, and herbs and let’s get to it.

To make the rolls: Now the fancy shit. In a large skillet warm about 3 inches of water. You want the water hot but not so damn hot you can’t put your hand in it bc guess what- you’re about to. Once you’ve reached a comfortable warm temperature, turn off the heat. Place one spring roll wrapper in the water for 10-15 seconds until it becomes all bendy like a noodle. Let the extra water drip off and lay that translucent baby down on a plate.  Lay down a small handful of the noodles, lettuce, veggies, herbs, and a couple pieces of tofu down the middle of the wrapper. Now you’re gonna fold in the shorter edges and the roll the whole thing up like a little burrito. Continue rolling and press the end flap gently against the roll. If you can make a wrap or burrito then you already have this on lock. Keep making rolls until you run out of filling. Finished rolls will keep in the fridge for about 2 days.

* These look like a stack of chalky colored, paper frisbee things. They’re usually near the soy sauce at the store. They are cheap af, so don’t stress.

Pairs With...

Cold Mango Soba Noodle Salad

Why do coworkers always ask what you ate for lunch? LEVEL UP YOUR SMALL TALK PATRICK OR GO BACK TO YOUR CORNER IN HR. Anyways, here’s a recipe for a soba noodle salad that's so dope that it’s a worthy steal from the shared fridge.