I grew up eating these Vietnamese spring rolls filled with tofu, jicama and Shitake mushroom and til this day, it remains to be my top favorite dish. I usually make it in big batch and eat it over the course of a few days. This version, I suppose, was intended for vegetarians or for those who don’t care for meat and seafood. It replaces the infamous Vietnamese spring rolls filled with shrimp and pork belly . Though the flavors are totally different, the taste of the tofu spring rolls rivals that of the shrimp and pork belly spring rolls. For my healthier version of the non-vegetarian kind, follow this link.
What I found interesting is that, though I thought my version of the Tofu spring roll is of the traditional and typical kind (and I don’t usually do traditional and typical), I can’t seem to find anything like it available on the internet. Well, consider it to be your first encounter. I promise it won’t disappoint.
A couple of other things I should mention is that there are now brown rice papers available, so if you want to opt for a healthier version of rice paper, try purchasing the brown kind. I find it to be no different in taste, aside from the difference in color. As for tofu, try purchase the extra firm, high in protein kind. Place like Trader Joe’s has it and it is perfect for this recipe. Aside from it having high amount of protein, the extra firm tofu does not hold as much water, and therefore does not soak up as much oil when fried.
Clean lettuce leaves and herbs and put through a spinner to dry before you start.
Fill a microwave-safe bowl with warm water and mushroom and cook for 6 minutes. Remove from microwave and let cool. Remove the stems from mushroom and cut them into very thin slices.
Slice the tofu block lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick strips. Place tofu strips on paper towels to let dry.
Place a medium-sized non-stick pan on medium high heat. Once pan is hot, add coconut oil and let it heat up. Add the tofu strips and fry them until golden – about 2 – 3 minutes each side. Use a slotted spatula to remove the tofu and place them on paper towels to soak up the extra oil.
Once tofu strips cool down, slice them in halves lengthwise so that the width is thinner. Turn the slices perpendicular and cut into thin strips.
Remove the skin from the jicama. Use the mandolin to slice it into matchstick size.
Place a large non-stick pan on medium high heat. Add the remaining coconut oil from frying the tofu to the pan. Add minced garlic and let it cook until slightly golden – about 1 minute. Add the sliced Shitake mushroom. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add about 3 tablespoons of water if it starts to burn. Let the water evaporates first before adding the jicama, salt, coconut cream and soy sauce to the mushroom. Cook for another 5 minutes or until most of the water evaporates. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
To make the dipping sauce, mix all ingredients together. Divide into 5 equal parts into dipping bowls.
To make the roll, run a sheet of rice paper wrapper through warm water, just long enough to get the whole paper wet and lay flat on a work surface.
On one edge, lay 1 leave of lettuce, herbs and about 3 tablespoons of the stir-fry tofu mix. Carefully start to roll up, like you would with eggroll or burrito, fold the two sides, then continue to roll up-but not too tightly or the spring roll will split.
Serve immediately. You can also have company prepare the rolls at the table while eating. These do not keep and will harden up once made. Store any extra un-assembled fillings in fridge and roll later.
Enjoy! I’d love to hear your comments so let me know how you like it.