March 14, 2012

Spring Rolls with Tofu and Mushrooms

Another find from my kitchen cleanout is a package of spring roll wrappers. On 101 Cookbooks, there was recent post for Wintery Spring Rolls. I love spring rolls, but am not quite creative enough to come up with my own fillings. Of course anything created by Heidi Swanson is always bursting with flavor, and this recipe was no exception. The ginger onion paste is genius, and the brown sugar mushrooms were a highlight.

Spring Rolls with Tofu and Mushrooms
slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks

Ginger Onion Paste:
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2 red spring onions, finely sliced (or equiv. red onion / shallots)
3 tablespoons grated, peeled ginger
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

Brown Sugar Tofu and Mushrooms:
12 ounces extra firm tofu
3 medium cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 teaspoons natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

8 ounces mushrooms, brushed clean, sliced 1/4-inch thick

For spring roll assembly:
Ginger Onion Paste (above)
Brown Sugar Tofu and Mushrooms (above)
crisp, crunchy lettuce (baby gems / romaine)
1 small bunch fresh cilantro or other herbs, well washed / dried
about 1 dozen rice paper wrappers

Make the ginger onion paste: Place the onions and ginger in a mortar and pestle. Sprinkle with the salt, and pound until the onions are quite bruised, but not paste-like. Heat the oil in a small saucepan until hot (hot enough that you could saute something in it). Add the onion mixture to the oil, remove from heat, and transfer to a jar to cool. Drain off any extra oil and reserve for another use.

Make the tofu and mushrooms: Cut the tofu into six equal slabs and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed plate. Place the garlic in a mortar and pestle, sprinkle with the salt and sugar, and pound into a paste. Work the oil in, a bit at a time, until the ingredients are completely combined. Use your hands to slather and gently coat each piece of tofu, be quite thorough. Set aside, and leave the bowl dirty.

Cook the tofu in a single layer in a large skillet over medium-high heat until deeply golden on each side. Remove from the pan, and when cool enough to handle, slice into pencil-thick pieces, and salt to taste.

In the meantime, toss the mushrooms gently (but well), in the residual marinade left in the tofu bowl. Once the tofu is done, you can use the same tofu skillet to cook the mushrooms. Use high heat, and cook until the mushrooms release their water and take on a nice, dark color. Transfer to a bowl or platter, and season appropriately.

Assemble the spring rolls: In bowl of hot water, dip each rice paper wrapper for just 3 seconds. Resist over-soaking, even if the paper is a bit stiff it will continue to absorb water as you assemble the wrap. Place on a flat work surface and fold in half. Keep all ingredients crowded into 1/3 of the available surface of the wrapper at this point, not too close to the straight-edge of the semi-circle.

Put down a generous smear of ginger onion paste. Then a lettuce leaf, tofu, a few mushrooms, cilantro. Then, tuck and roll. This method creates an open-sided roll, but you can also make burrito-style rolls.

Makes about a dozen rolls.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Love it! I'm the only one in my family who likes mushrooms. Nice to see a picture of them at least.