Tofu is a versatile protein source that readily absorbs the flavors it is marinated in. In this recipe, marinated tofu sticks make the perfect filling for the Asian Fresh Rolls and serve as an excellent source of protein, calcium, and iron! This recipe comes to us from Mark Young of the blog Mondays Are Meatless.
Cooking Tip of the Week: If you do not have tea towels at home, paper towels can also be used for pressing the tofu. The pressing process is important because it helps the tofu absorb the marinade and stay intact during cooking.
Food for Thought: “Julienne” is a French cooking term for cutting a vegetable into long, thin pieces. With some practice, this cut can be done with a knife, or an adult can do it with a tool called a mandolin. Sometimes, though, it’s easier to buy vegetables that are already cut in this shape, like pre-cut matchstick carrots.
Family Dinner Conversation Starter: If you did the grocery shopping, what would you buy?
Together: Prep ingredients.
Together: Boil kettle. Slice tofu into two 1/2 inch slabs, wrap in a tea towel and press between two cutting boards with something heavy on top for 5 or 10 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch by 3 inch pieces and set aside.
Kid: Mix all the marinade ingredients in the bottom of a 9 x 12 glass baking dish. Spread the tofu sticks across the bottom of the pan and let sit for 15 minutes. Then flip the tofu sticks once and let them sit for another 15.
Together: Stir up tofu sticks and marinade one last time and drain off any excess liquid into a glass dish and set aside. Cut up veggies. Set out each ingredient in a separate bowl.
Adult: Put the dry rice noodles in a large glass bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 3 minutes. Drain and let cool.
Together: When all ingredients are set out in “assembly line” fashion to put fresh rolls together, fill a flat dish or frying pan with hot but not boiling water. Hold each rice paper circle underwater for 5-10 seconds – it should still be a bit rigid, but floppy. Place the wet rice paper circle in the middle of a plate.
Together: Put a small handful of the noodles, one of the tofu sticks, a bit of each veggie and a slice of avocado in the center, leaving a good few centimeters on all sides. Roll one edge completely over the filling, tuck under the filling and fold up the two “ends,” and continue rolling until it is all contained. Repeat with remaining circles and filling.
Serve with leftover marinade or your favorite dip, such as hoisin or spicy peanut sauce.