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Vegan Tofu Apple Spring Rolls Recipe

Makes: 9 rolls

My husband tells me this recipe is worth the entire price of the book! Tofu is baked in a flavorful orange-ginger marinade, then paired with tart apple and sweet Napa cabbage and rolled in a rice paper wrapper. For younger kids, try leaving out the cabbage, cilantro, and scallion.

The Wonders of Rice Paper: Rice paper wrappers are a fantastic alternative to bread for the gluten-intolerant. Look for them in packages at Asian markets. Dry and hard when purchased, they become soft and pliable with a quick soak in warm water. Wrap up any favorite salad or baked tofu to make a handy portable lunch.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound firm tofu
  • 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • A pinch of cayenne
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 9 (8-inch diameter) dried rice paper wrappers
  • 18 fresh cilantro stems
  • 1 cup finely shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 9 large leaf or butterhead lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel and set it on a plate. Put another plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy. Press the tofu for 30 minutes.
  2. Make a marinade by whisking together 3 tablespoons of the orange juice, the mirin, soy sauce, and canola oil. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and cayenne.
  3. Cut the tofu into three slices lengthwise, then turn the tofu block on its side and cut into thirds again, making nine equal slices. Place the slices in an 8 × 8-inch baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Let the tofu sit for 30 minutes, then turn the slices over and let sit for another 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the tofu and marinade for 40 minutes, until it is golden brown and the marinade is absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  5. Peel, core, and thinly slice the Granny Smith apple. Toss the apple slices with the remaining tablespoon of orange juice to keep them from browning.
  6. Dip one of the wrappers in a wide bowl filled with warm water for 15 seconds, or until softened. Transfer to a dry work surface and pat dry. Arrange a slice of tofu along with some apple slices, 2 sprigs of cilantro, some Napa cabbage, and scallions in a mound just below the center of the wrapper. Roll up the rice paper to form a tight bundle, folding in the sides along the way.
  7. Serve or pack each roll wrapped in a lettuce leaf (this will keep the spring roll from sticking to the plate). If packing for later, cover the rolls with a damp paper towel and some plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.

From the book Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2008.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.